If you're like us, one of your New Year's resolutions is to get better organized. Whether at home or work, getting organized will help eliminate clutter in your day to day and boost your focus and productivity. Here are a few ways to help get you organized in the New Year.
Set Realistic & Manageable Goals
The easiest, most effective way to keep yourself organized all year long is to set realistic and manageable goals. More often than not we set goals for ourselves that are too broad, and we quickly get lost in them. For example, a goal such as "I'm going to get completely organized this year at work!" is broad and unclear. You're more than likely going to run out of steam before seeing results leaving you frustrated and more disorganized than when you started. The key is to start small and set yourself up for success by setting goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and, time-bound. Once you start setting realistic and manageable goals your priorities will become more clear which will help you get focused and organized.
It's important to establish daily, weekly, and monthly routines to be sure even the most mundane tasks get completed. Use this tip at home or at work to keep your day running smoothly. A great way to begin establishing routines is to keep everything you have going on in one calendar (tasks, meetings, vacations, etc.) This is also just another way to stay organized! One tip we've found to be useful when establishing your daily routines is to create a list of your three most important tasks for the day. There very well may be more than three, but these are the three things that must get done. This exercise will help you build tasks into your day and prevent rushing to get things done by five o'clock.
Map out Milestones
It's important to work backward when you are assigned a new project to map out the appropriate milestones needed to complete in its entirety. This will help provide you with a sense of priority in the short and long term. It's also just a great way to track your progress. Another great tip to keep your motivation going is to treat yourself when you've reached a milestone like taking a mid-day coffee break with a coworker!
Make an Effort not to Multitask
It can be difficult especially when you're busy, but going back and forth between tasks and projects only slows our brains down and negatively affects our productivity. Be sure to only focus on one task at a time to ensure you're giving it your best. Another way to avoid multitasking is to keep your current projects front and center. This will help you stay focused on the things that hold the highest priority and will ensure you're hitting your deadlines.
Keep your Workspace Organized
Keeping a clear and organized workspace not only eliminates physical clutter but will help to keep you focused on your tasks for the day. Some great ways to organize your workspace are:
- Have everything you need in reach. Take note of everything you use in your day to day at the office and keep them at your desk or on your computer to maximize productivity and organization.
- Get rid of the non-essentials. In order to make your workspace more functional and productive get rid of anything that can cause distractions. A good rule of thumb is if you haven't used something it in the past six months, then toss it or store it away.
- Act, trash, or file immediately. Instead of letting your piles of paperwork or email inbox pile up work to act on it, trash it or file it away as it comes across your desk.