With so many distractions showing up during your workday, it’s not hard to lose focus. We have 4 key tips to help you avoid wasting precious time on unnecessary tasks.
Organized people perform much better than those who leave things messy and unattended. Just imagine the following scenario: you’re looking for an important file, but your folders are all over the place, making you waste minutes. You can avoid situations like this by simply following our tips.
Tips to Help You Stay Organized
Let's take a look at how you can become more organized and boost your productivity in the process.
1. Manage your notifications, messages, and emails
Letting your inbox get cluttered is one of the biggest mistakes you can make as a working person. Whether you communicate with your coworkers via direct messages or emails, make sure your incoming notifications are always sorted out in a timely manner.
Whenever you get a message, try and reply as soon as possible. Many people tend to get distracted and forget to reply to, or even read a message. This can be a huge mistake when you have important questions, appointments, or data coming your way.
Letting messages pile up isn’t the answer either. The longer you leave emails and messages unattended, the harder it’ll be to type up a reply. As time goes by, you’ll feel guilty and have to come up with an excuse for not replying. Avoid this by always staying on top of your incoming emails and messages to declutter your inbox.
Many email applications allow you to set up different inboxes as well. Take advantage of this to create folders and sort messages manually or even automatically. We also advise you to frequently delete spam messages, and ensure you’re not subscribed to any unnecessary newsletters on your business emails.
2. Create a file naming system
Leaving your files in a mess is a huge disadvantage when it comes to working. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that without a proper naming and organization system, you’ll have a hard time locating key files and documents needed for your work.
Having a mess in your folders may also cause you to mix up two or more versions of a project. For example, if you’ve typed up a long report but ended up doing revisions, you might mix up the original and the edited file without proper names.
For example, I label my article drafts like “Organization_V1.” Using this system, I’d name my second draft “Organization_V2.” Once all the people involved in the project are happy with the file, I'd name it “Organization_FINAL.” Of course, you don’t have to use the same exact system as anyone else — the only thing that matters is that you stay consistent with how you name your files.
Don’t neglect folders either! Make sure always to create plenty of sub-folders as needed. These make it easier for you to stay organized and sort various resources to avoid clutter.
3. Have an efficient schedule
Planning your day is one of the best ways of increasing your productivity and organization. Knowing what you need to do and what you want to do will motivate you to get things done before it’s too late.
This is a snippet from a previous article published on the website. If you need more guidance, we highly recommend you check out our “How to Effectively Plan Your Day” article.
Even if you’ve never planned before, it’s not too late to begin. Grab a pen and a notebook, or use any virtual note application, and get ready to bring order into your life! Don’t let your weeks get away from you by always planning ahead.
Whenever you’re planning your day, make sure to draw a clear line between work and life-related tasks. This will allow your mind to relax outside of your work environment and get your goals in a clear view. Never mix and match tasks you need to do outside of your job.
I find that breaking down my main tasks into smaller, more manageable subtasks helps with this issue. Smaller tasks immediately look less burdensome, and you sit down to get things done with a more motivated attitude.
4. Declutter your workplace
The state of your actual workspace is just as important as your virtual one. Getting rid of spam emails and organizing your files might not be enough if your workspace is distracting and messy.
Many people find it that eliminating all distractions, such as their mobile phone, TV, and radio, and even temporarily getting rid of the company, will boost their productivity. Make sure you only have things you could need on your work desk — sticky notes, your notebook, pens, and your notebook or PC.
Working in a secluded place also helps. Ensure that you can’t hear distracting noises, conversations, or electronics. If possible, create a work environment where you can dedicate the entire room to nothing but work. This will help your mind associate the place with productivity and getting things done.
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