I have become very aware that if my work area – whether it be my craft area, kitchen, home, or desk – is cluttered, I am not productive.
It’s the clutter, the lack of organization that halts me from completing even the smallest task.
Have you found the same in your life?
For some people, organization comes naturally, but for most people, it requires some energy to learn organizational skills.
Even if the organization doesn’t come naturally, there are many things you can do to improve your organization skills one step at a time.
Clear Your Work Area. If your work area looks like it was the victim as if a tornado had just come through, or perhaps a toddler has swept in, you may find your productivity suffering. The first step toward better organization and subsequent productivity is cleaning your work area.
This means getting rid of the trash, designating storage spaces for office supplies, and throwing away materials that are duplicates or that you no longer need. Don’t stack your papers. Organize the papers in file folders or binders and file them appropriately.
Organize Your Computer and Email. Is your computer desktop filled with many icons and files? Create logical folders for all important documents and remove any unused icons from your desktop.
Do you have hundreds of emails in multiple accounts? It’s time to clear them out. Spend a day organizing emails so that unimportant emails are deleted and important emails are organized into folders so you can refer to them when you need them. If you have unread mail, read it and move to the appropriate folders. You may have to block off time to focus on this, but you will find it time well spent.
Speaking of blocking your time,
Use a Planner. Productive people plan each day with purpose. Using a daily planner – either on paper or electronically – can help you to stay on track and become more productive. For many, planning the next day’s work at the end of your workday can help you to begin fresh the next day as priorities and demands are immediately available.
Stay Focused. Limit your focus to one specific task. You might consider limiting interruptions by setting a designated time or times each day to read emails, respond to voicemails, and work on social media.
I keep 2 lists with my daily planner next to me. One for what I want/need to get done today, and another to record those ideas that pop into my head and may distract me from my current project.
Don’t Procrastinate. I know for me; it can be very tempting to put off tasks that are less desirable. Do you find you do the same? If so, you probably also know all this does is get you behind schedule and put off the inevitable. It adds to the cluttered work area which takes us back to step one. When you need to do something, initiate self-discipline, complete the task, and move on. It will save much time and energy in the end.
Stick to a Routine. It’s easier to be productive with a consistent schedule. It may sound boring, but over time you’ll find you actually like the regularity of a routine and receive the benefit of getting more done in less time.
Yes, being organized can lead to better productivity.
Realizing the value of this and making it part of your daily life will prove very satisfying.
It’s a change of perspective. Look at the new possibilities and pathways opening, making a way for you to proceed.
How do you keep things organized and productive? Please share in the comments. We all could use some additional tips.
And now, I think now, I will fix myself another cup of tea, and clear off my desk.