Time is something that no one can buy, not even the wealthiest person in the world. We all have the same 24 hours as the CEO of Target, the President of the United States and Carrie Underwood. While we can’t buy time, we can save time by being organized.
When we are organized, life runs better. Our minds are clearer, one feels great and gets more done.
Amazingly, it’s not the actions that will keep you organized. In reality, it starts with our habits.
These are simple habits – with clear results! Once you incorporate them to your daily routine, you will find yourself more organized and ultimately, more effective.
Try these 5 simple habits for a more organized work life!
Be intentional about organizing your work
“Intentional living is the art of making our own choices before other’s choices make us.”
– Richie Norton
This one sounds obvious but how often are you really being intentional about the tasks or meetings you are attending?
Showing up without intention is like going on a road trip without a plan or a map. When you are intentional, you’re not wondering what needs your attention and what should you de-prioritize.
Setting intention gives you clarity. Clarity clears the clutter in your mind that is merely the distraction that results in loss of productivity.
How you can be more intentional:
- Draw up and write out your schedule every day. Include some down time so you have some time to think.
- Look at your schedule for the day and write down what you want to accomplish before every meeting.
- Create your to-do list and figure out what you can eliminate or delegate.
- Before you open your computer or walk into the office, ask yourself what is your goal for the day.
Manage notifications to cut out the noise
“Technology is a good servant but a bad master.”
We live in a distracted world. Everyone is on their smartphones. Checking them out while walking to a meeting, standing in line, or while eating lunch seems like we’re using our time well. But are we, really?
Instead of constantly checking your phone, choose the notifications you really need, and turn off what’s not essential. This simple fix will actually save you a ton of time because you won’t be distracted while in the middle of a project. Multiple studies have shown that multitasking makes us less productive. We waste more time trying to refocus once we are distracted.
Keeping notifications turned off also helps keep your mind clutter-free because you’re not worried about what needs to be looked at. So why not clear the excess and get more time back in yours.
Tips on managing your smartphone:
- Turn off notifications for Social media and games. Once you turn them off, you’ll see how much more time you will have.
- Schedule time to check your email. You will become more productive when you check it versus your device telling you, check me!
- Keep your phone in another room or drawer while you are working or give it to a coworker.
- Turn your phone on airplane mode or keep it on silent while working.
- Set limits on your device and unplug on the weekends.
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Batch process and work smarter
“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”
Working in chunks will not only keep you organized but it will also increase your productivity. Batch processing helps you accomplish more because you are in “go mode.” This means that instead of flitting from task to task, you work in blocks of time. Your reward – attention equals better output! And you have something tangible to show for your time while being systematic in your work life.
Also read 15 proven ways to Accelerate your Productivity
Tips on batch processing:
- Make a list of task items to batch process. Do this for your ‘focus tasks’ like creating a presentation or writing a blog post. And ditto for mundane ones like filing away paper, responding to emails, putting together quotes, following up with clients, etc.
- Time block. Schedule time on your calendar each week, to work through your to-do list.
- Start with the easiest task first to build momentum.
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More Habits that will transform your productivity
Meal Plan and be organized at work too
“If you don’t have a plan and leave your food choices to chance, chances are that those choices will stink.”
– Kristen Bentson
Choosing the right foods plays a big part of our day because it’s the fuel that keeps us going.
We’ve all had that lunch where we go into a food coma and just want to nap. We are sluggish, lethargic, and not as productive, regretting the pasta choice we made for lunch that day.
Meal planning keeps you organized because you’re not wasting time trying to figure out what to eat or scramble because you’re missing ingredients (if you’re cooking it). It eliminates the questions of “where should I go for lunch? And “what should I have for lunch?”
When you plan out what you eat, you make healthier choices. Having a plan makes the temptation of eating unhealthy less likely.
After leaving a long day of work, going home knowing what’s going to be for dinner saves you time.
Also read Nurture your Career with Nutrition: Eating Well for Women on the Go
Tips on meal planning:
- Schedule it. Put it on your calendar when you are going to meal plan. Set aside 30 minutes to an hour.
- Keep it simple. Start with meals that you know how to make.
- Pack lunch the night before. If you make kids’ lunches for school, add your lunch to the mix.
- Use leftovers from the night before for next day’s lunch.
- Grocery shop one day a week to eliminate multiple trips to the store.
Recap day to assess productivity
“Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.”
– Winston Churchill
Assessing your actions throughout the day keeps you organized because you will see where your time was spent and how you can improve for tomorrow. You’ll have a plan in place to get better.
Read: 7 Winning Tactics to Do Less and Achieve More
Oftentimes, when you look back at your day, you wonder how much you have actually accomplished. In a busy work-life, when you feel like nothing got done that day, recapping your day can often prove you wrong.
Tips on reviewing your day:
- Schedule it. Put it on your calendar towards the end of the day, & plan for 15 minutes.
- Write down one great thing that happened and how it made you feel.
- Figure out how you can make tomorrow better (stay focused more, remove distractions, etc.)
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Here are the 5 key ways to being more organized in your work life:
- Be intentional
- Manage Notifications
- Batch process
- Meal Plan
- Recap Day
John Maxwell said it best – consistency compounds. It’s the small improvements and habits that lead up to big results. When you adopt these simple ways to be more productive in your work, you will notice the gains right away. Pick one habit from this list to master, to start off.
Once you’ve got a handle on it, add another one until you are doing all of them consistently.
Marie Jackson is the writer at Organized Marie . She is dedicated to helping women save time by being organized.
When she’s not organizing, she’s being a referee to her three kids while trying not to pull out her hair.
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This is sooo TRUE! I also believe that multitasking is not a smart move and does not help you in being productive. But for me I tend to do first the harder tasks down to the easiest one. And it works for me every time. Thank you for these tips! I love these so much!
What simple things can I do to be more organized? Even my messes have messes. My room looks like a disaster zone, I am forever losing my keys, phone, wallet, and bank card. My car is a personal dumping ground. My main task of each day is finding what I had lost yesterday. Help me!
These are some really nice tips to follow. I am now planning to make a list of important tasks at the start of the day and give less time to social media.
Oh yes! I love your pointers, hi5 on the focus on smartphone management – gosh it’s making us less than smart lately! I’ve actually written a similar post on Work-Life balance with a spiritual angle. Hope it’ll resonate with you as well! 🙂
Great tips and all that do have amazing results. I’ve only started implementing the batch process lately — and it is a great way to keep you on track and focused on the final outcome.
These are really great hacks.Thanks for sharing.
My mummy is pretty organised at work but could be better with planning her home life. Setting daily goals sounds good x
These are some great tips! Meal planning has really saved me so much time and mental energy. I also love your tip about being intentional! Great post
These are actually super helpful! I waste so much time on little inconveniences that I don’t mind but those definitely add up. Such good tips.
I used to use every free moment to do something on my phone. Then I realized the things I was doing really weren’t as important as I thought, and I quit doing it. It felt good then and it still does today.
So many helpful tips! I have my notifications off! It’s crazy how helpful that is!!!!!
These are an excellent tips. For me it is so important to be organize not only on your personal things or lives but also at your work because being organize with your work will help to be more productive and helps you to complete your tasks in a fastest way possible.