8 Productivity and Organization Tips for Your Work Day
Getting through the day is tough sometimes. Not to be the bearer of bad news, but a lot of that is up to how we as humans naturally function as multitaskers (not very well) in a world that completely requires it of us.
Below, you’ll find eight handy tips on organization that’ll help your productivity skyrocket.
Write it Down
Writing things down is not only practical because it creates a physical record of things you can’t readily remember, but it also helps you manage the flow of incoming information throughout the day by ingraining key points into your mind.
Once you write something down, or draw it, or plot it out on paper, your mental focus will increase, and you’ll have additional ways and means of tackling your problems.
Give Everything a Home
If you give your daily items a permanent home, you’ll lose track of things far less often. Gone will be the days of losing your keys if you make a habit of always putting them in the bowl on the kitchen counter.
This will help to enforce a positive routine, and it will help you cut back on time spent searching for items, as well as the stress that comes along with that.
Declutter Your Workspace
Someone once said “a clean desk is the sign of a sick mind” -- that couldn’t be farther from the truth! It’s good office humor, though.
A cluttered workspace is oft thought of as a precursor to a cluttered mind. It’s not just a proverb, either -- your brain is constantly processing sensory information. Think of the way the memory in your computer works. The more memory your computer uses to process something, the less it has available for other tasks.
Your brain works much the same. If it’s always processing images, colors, textures, sounds, emails, and all other forms of clutter in front of you, it won’t have the power to tend to other functions without inducing stress. A clean workspace and home equals a clean mind.
There’s no better way to make an impact on your to-do list than to simply do them, right? Right! Sometimes, the key to organizing our work lives and our home lives is to get the extras off our plates.
Plow through work or appointments that have built up -- or are threatening to -- and you’ll have less items and metrics to track. Besides, more work will be in the “done” pile than in your “to-do” pile, which will take a mental load off. Try it next time you’re in a lull!
Make a List
Memory is a fickle thing, and humans aren’t the best at multitasking. Making a list of your daily goals can be a great way to keep yourself on track, as well as prioritize what needs to be done.
To-do’s, upcoming events, and a ledger for the day are ideal things to keep track of. We like to use Any.do https://www.any.do/ to keep things in order around here.
Have a Launch Pad
In a sense, our morning routines are little more than a warmup for the rest of the day. They get us tuned up, ready, and able to handle whatever’s in front of us. But, as we all know, mornings can be stressful, and the hustle to get your ducks in a row pre-caffeine can be an unforgiving one.
That’s where a launch pad can come in handy. It can be a foyer, a table, a space near the front door or in the kitchen -- you name it. All you need to focus on is creating an area that’s solely dedicated to getting you out into the world in good shape. Maybe a fresh gym bag, umbrella, and everything needed for a car trip can live here.
Prepare the Night Before
We spend a lot of our mental energy and focus in the mornings. Preparing breakfast, clothes, and hygiene for the day can take up a lot of time and create quite the scramble -- particularly if you don’t prepare.
You can stay more organized and focused throughout the day by spending a bit of time the night before preparing. Preparing what? Anything. Your clothes, food, items needed for work, etc.
You might think that a routine could hamper your progress -- stifling your daily rhythm. Some folks do have routines that are counterproductive, but used properly, they’re one of the best organizational tools available to you.
It’s probable that you already have a routine in the morning. Most of us jet for the coffee pot (and we do mean jet), grab a shower, get dressed, and out the door. That routine helps you tackle your entire day.
Try making a routine out of other things, as well. Maybe a quick five minute cleanup of your office, or a few minutes spent squaring away your emails at the end of every day. Try adding a small workout at some throughout the day. Stick with your routine for maximum effect, and you’ll get more done, and your laundry list of chores and tasks will feel more automatic.