After working from home for an extended period of time, transitioning back to working in an office setting can be overwhelming. A great way to overcome this stress is to focus on staying organized! Getting and staying organized may seem like a difficult task, but it doesn’t have to be. With these eight steps, you can more easily organize your work life and tackle work-related stress.
1. Use a Planner
Prior to my internship at TBG, I did not use planners. Instead, I would just try to remember my tasks for the day. As my work life got busier, I found that writing these things down really helped me to stay on track. I recommend using a daily or weekly planner to keep track of everyday tasks and goals, while utilizing a yearly planner to see an overview for the months ahead. Both are beneficial to help you stay present while still remaining aware of future deadlines.
2. Create To-Do lists
To-do lists are very important for staying organized. Not only is it a great tool to help you remember all of your daily, weekly, and monthly tasks, but it also allows for you to see all that you have accomplished! Stay prioritized by making a numbered checklist, with your number 1 item being your most important task.
3. Set Reminders
Reminders are very important for individuals with a busy schedule and a forgetful mind. You can set reminders in your email calendar, smartphone, watch, or even on a post-it note. Reminders help you to keep up with your schedule and prepare for the upcoming week. I recommend setting a reminder about 30 minutes prior to an event or task so that you have time to prepare.
4. Visual learners: Use Highlighters or Bullet Journals
As someone who is both a visual and auditory learner, highlighters really help for me to focus on things that I want to remember. Additionally, bullet journals are a great tool if you don’t want to be confined to notebook lines or margins in word documents. Bullet journals are blank notebooks that allow individuals to freely format notes in the way that works best for them. I make my monthly calendars in a bullet journal, and I also find that using bright pleasing colors, bold font, and graphics keep me inspired and excited for the tasks ahead.
5. Take Time to Reorganize
It is good to change things up every so often. Reorganizing your desk or workstation can help give you a fresh start and clear your mind.
6. Declutter, Declutter, Declutter!
One of the most important ways to stay organized is to get rid of unnecessary items and junk. Junk can be found in filing cabinets, emails, text messages, desks, and anywhere that items are saved. Cleaning out your workstation and your physical and digital files at least once a week will help assure that the junk doesn’t pile up. Staying neat, clean, and organized at your desk, in your computer, and at home will also help reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, and confusion. Pro-tip: you can set a reminder for yourself to clean your desk!
7. Everything Should Have a Place
An important tip for an organization is to make sure that everything has a place. For your emails, this might mean creating folders for chains with related topics. At the office, all of your items should have a spot, even your rubber bands and pencils should have a specific location! This will prevent losing important objects or information. If everything has a place and you stay consistent in this organization technique, then you won’t have to go through so many deep cleans. Additionally, you won’t have to go looking through your pile of papers or emails for an important document because you will know exactly where it is!
8. Take Time to Decompress
If you don’t take care of your mind and body, then you won’t be able to think clearly and be productive. It is crucial to take small, frequent breaks throughout the day. While productivity and efficiency are important, it will not benefit anyone if you are overworking yourself. Be intentional with getting rest physically and mentally. You can achieve this by getting the recommended amount of sleep, eating healthy, exercising, getting fresh air, and doing leisure activities after work that you make you feel peaceful and happy.
Organization at work involves both mental and physical change. You need to rewire and change the way you used to do things to accomplish what you need to get done. Learning your coworkers’ schedules, coordinating, and planning ahead will also help to make your life easier. Although we will never be perfect organizers, we can and should always strive to grow and improve.
Abigail Wallner, Marketing Intern