So far, you’ve been able to stick with your New Year’s resolution of staying organized. But how long will that continue to last? If you need a little help keeping your work life organized, use the following tips to stay motivated and on track.
Use Email Filters
A survey completed by Adobe found that the average person spends about 3.1 hours each weekday checking their work email. That’s nearly half your entire day in the office! For many, the obsession with checking email is related to clearing out all the unread messages.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways you can reduce the time it takes you to get to inbox zero. One good way is using filters to automatically sort and delete your emails. For example, you can have your email client automatically star emails that come from certain people. Or, if a certain phrase is used in a subject line, the email can be sorted into a special folder.
Keeping your emails organized should help you be more productive, as you’ll have more time to actually work rather than sifting through the trash.
Create a To-Do List for Each Day
Numerous studies have shown that people can better perform tasks when they have a written list of what they need to do. As an example, one study found that when people had time to plan an activity beforehand, they performed better than people that were just thrown into the mix.
So how do you create a successful to-do list? Science says you need to make each item detailed and clear, so you know exactly what you need to do. Better yet, prioritize each item by putting time-sensitive tasks at the top of your list.
Finally, be realistic about any schedules you’re setting. While completing a certain amount of work looks good on paper, it doesn’t account for time you’ll spend delaying on social media or chatting with coworkers. Account for these distractions so you don’t feel like you under-achieved at the end of the day.
Spend Five Minutes Each Day Clearing Off Your Desk
Staying physically organized might be one of the toughest parts of working. It’s so easy for old papers and trash to pile up on your desk.
Stay on top of it all by dedicating five minutes at the end of the day to cleanup. Purge any papers you’ve finished with, and file away any papers you might need later on. Your best bet is to create a box or folder for papers you still need to hold on to.
Finally, make sure all your knick-knacks, writing utensils, and other hardware has a home. Don’t just let items drift around from place to place — keep them in one centralized location so you know where to find them.
Staying organized through all of 2019 is a big challenge. However, with these tips at your disposal, we’re confident you can make it happen.
Chunn, Louise. “The psychology of the to-do list – why your brain loves ordered tasks.” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited. 10 May 2017: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/may/10/the-psychology-of-the-to-do-list-why-your-brain-loves-ordered-tasks.
Naragon, Kristin. “We Still Love Email, But We’re Spreading the Love with Other Channels.” Adobe Blog. Adobe. 21 Aug. 2018: https://theblog.adobe.com/love-email-but-spreading-the-love-other-channels/.
Porpora, Tracey. “7 Quick Tips to Clean and Purge Your Office This Week.” The Balance Careers. Dotdash. 26 April 2018: https://www.thebalancecareers.com/clean-and-purge-office-this-week-3545363.