According to a past survey conducted by the Wall Street Journal, the average person loses an hour a day due to disorganization. That equates to 6 work weeks lost per year!
To help save you time and get more work done, we put together a list of four simple tips for maximizing your productivity and getting organized.
1) Create A Filing System
Professional organizer Deborah Cabral recommends creating an EFS, or efficient filing system. She says to "think before you pile, and think before you file". Approximately 80% of what we file is never used again. Therefore, only keep things you're going to reference later on.
If you like to stack your paperwork, consider organizing them in folders. Be sure to color code and label your folders accordingly as this will make it much easier to find what you need.
For those who like to spread things out on your desk, a storage box can help keep items at bay. Start by adding all your stuff into the box. Whatever you frequently use, add back to your desk. Everything else should stay in the box or be thrown away. Our brain tricks us into thinking everything is important. Embrace an everything must go mentality.
2) Prioritize Your Tasks
Psychologists have found that the mind and brain were not designed for heavy-duty multitasking. Furthermore, Dr. Sanjay Gupta says that only 2% of the population can effectively multitask without losing efficiency while doing all those activities.
In hindsight, you should devote your attention to doing one task at a time. Put together a list of all your tasks and prioritize them by the level of importance. When working through your priority list, only keep one item in front of you. To stay focused, eliminate other distractions around your desk and delegate a certain amount of time to work on each task.
3) Remove Distractions
We all enjoy having family pictures and other trinkets on our desk to get us through the workday. However, too many personal items can lead to distractions. Try limiting yourself to three personal items on your desk.
Other visual clutter can be a potential distraction as well. Take a look around and only keep relevant items on your desk that you access often. Excessive sticky notes on your monitor or loose documents you can see in the corner of your eye should all be removed. As the old adage goes, "out of sight, out of mind".
4) Clean Regularly
To avoid clutter build up, you should make it a goal to schedule a regular cleaning time. Taking the last 5 to 10 minutes of each day to clean your desk will go a long way. This includes things like throwing away trash, wiping down your work area and returning things to its intended place before leaving for the day. By committing to a daily cleaning routine, you will have a much easier time maintaining an organized desk.
Aside from the mental gains, your physical health will thank you as well. From the computer keyboard to your phone, these items collect a ton of germs that put you at risk of getting sick. Simple office hygiene can reduce those bacteria risks dramatically. Take pride in your workspace and keep it tidy.