Getting Organized At Work is All In The Timing

By Chelsea Babin

Is there a mountain of papers threatening an avalanche on your desk? Have you forgotten the last time your organized all of the files on your computer? Is your unread email count more than twice your age? If so your work life may be overwhelmingly unorganized. While a little mess doesn’t seem like a big deal compared to larger project goals at first, it can slowly but surely eat away at your productivity.

Stop putting off organization and start incorporating it into your workday with one little trick: a timer. If you’re a chronic organization procrastinator, you may think you have valid reasons. Those emails don’t need to be dealt with right now, I have a web design to spruce up. Those papers don’t need to be sorted right now, I have a meeting to attend. My drawer doesn’t need to be organized right now, I have better things to do! And while you may have many other things going on at this exact moment, chances are you have an opportunity at some point during the week to take care of your organizational tasks.

The best way to figure out when you have the time for it is to do it and time yourself. See how long it takes you to do one organizational task from start to finish. You may be surprised at how little time it actually takes compared to how long it feels. The time may feel like it’s going by slowly because you don’t enjoy this kind of work but staying organized is essential to keeping productivity levels up so it’s time well spent in the long run.

Once you’ve timed yourself with each organizational task, write it down. That way the next time you seem to have 5, 10, or 20 minutes to spare in your schedule you can get these organizational tasks out of the way so they aren’t a burden later in the week when you’re swamped with other, more important work.

No one wants to lose something important because their desk was too messy or miss an updated deadline because they didn’t take the time to go through their emails. These may seem like time wasting tasks but if you time yourself, you’ll see how little time they actually take to get done and you can stay on top of them by squeezing them into your schedule when time allows. If you can do this your work life will be organized and efficient in no time!