4 Steps to Getting Organized at Work

Getting organized at work is essential to being productive, efficient, and effective. When you are in the middle of an important project, you don’t want to fumble around looking for the documents you need. When you come to work in the morning, you want to know what’s on your plate for the day. When given a new monthly task to complete, you want to make sure it’s completed every month. All of these can be accomplished through staying organized at work!

What is organization? According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, to organize is to arrange or order things so that they can be found or used easily and quickly, or to put things into a particular arrangement or order.

You should organize everything at work, including your files, your time, regular tasks you complete, and projects you’re given. Getting and staying organized will make it easier to get the job done and reduce your stress. Check out the steps below to getting organized at work!

Step 1: Organize Your Files

Organizing all your files is an essential first step to getting and staying organized at work. Documents, spreadsheets, presentations, photos, advertisements, and everything else you use to do your job should be organized in a logical order. When everything is organized and exactly where you need it to be, you can get projects and tasks completed much quicker because you don’t have to stop and look for things!

The system that you should use to organize your files depends on how you use them. For example, if you do a set of monthly reports, you should organize them in folders by month, so that when you go back to look for a report for a specific month, you know exactly where it is.

If you use photos for presentations, advertisements or anything else, they should be organized into folders with similar themes. For example, you could have one folder with photos of working professionals, one folder with photos of people with their families, and one of students at graduation. Then, when you need a specific type of photo, you will know exactly where to find it.

These are just a few examples of ways that you can use to organize your files. When creating your organization system, think about how you will use each set of files, and organize them accordingly.

Step 2: Put Recurring Tasks on Your Calendar

Most of us can be forgetful at times. After all, we are all human. Don’t let being forgetful stop you from getting organized at work. For any tasks that you do on a recurring basis at your job, add them to your calendar as a recurring calendar event. This includes daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly tasks.

When you add these items to your calendar, make sure you block off enough time to get the task done. Be realistic about how much time it will take. If you don’t give yourself enough time to complete each specific task, the quality of your work may suffer because you will rush through it.

Step 3: Plan Your Days

Now that you have time blocked off on your calendar to get recurring tasks done, you can plan the rest of your day. Allow time to complete any projects you are working on. You never want to wait until the last minute to get things done, so allow time along the way.

Keep some time open in each day for things that just come up and need to be completed immediately. Regardless of what you do for a living, there will always be emergency situations that need attention right then. Since you know these things will come up, keeping open time in your day will allow you to still get all your planned work completed.

Creating a daily to-do list can help you greatly when trying to stay organized. If you are in the middle of a project, and have to stop working on it for the day, add the steps you still need to complete to your to-do list for the next day. Then, when you return to finish that project, you can pick up exactly where you left off. You can also add things that don’t have to be done immediately to your to-do list. Cross off items as you complete them. Before you leave for the day, create your to-do list for the next day. This will ensure you can jump back in right where you left off!

Step 4: Keep Track of Projects and Due Dates

Anytime you are given a project to complete, always ask for a due date. Knowing when the project is due will allow you to manage your time accordingly to ensure it’s completed on time.

Once you are given a due date, break the project down into the smaller steps it will take to get it done. For example, if you are given a project of creating a presentation for executives, and you have one week to do it, what are the steps you need to complete to get the presentation done? First, you will need to gather the data needed for the presentation. Second, create the graphics for the presentation. Third, write the text that will go into the presentation. Fourth, add all this to the presentation and design it so it’s visually appealing. Fifth, edit the presentation. Lastly, submit the presentation and make any necessary edits that are requested.

Once the project is broken down into smaller steps like the ones above, estimate the amount of time it will take you to finish each step. Then, make sure you allow yourself enough time to get each step done, and block off time on your calendar to complete each one!

Meet our Author!

My HeadshotBy Jennifer Cruse| Senior Social Media Strategist
Jennifer attended West Virginia University and earned both a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations and a Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications. She began working for a group of colleges before graduating with her Master’s. In this role, Jennifer helped manage all marketing activities. This included more traditional marketing like TV and radio, and also modern marketing like social media and digital ad campaigns. Jennifer is experienced in creating high-level strategies and operational tactics. She believes marketing is both an art and a science, because it takes an artist to create and a scientist to measure the results. Jennifer is super excited to be in her current role as Senior Social Strategist at Sutherland! When not working, Jennifer enjoys spending time with her two sons. Playing outside, swimming, and basketball are some of their favorite things to do! She also enjoys reading about all things science and technology!

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