Getting organized is the second most popular New Year’s resolution, according to a study conducted by the University of Scranton. Are you still sticking to yours?
If you’ve fallen back into old habits, it’s time to recommit.
Use the following tips to break bad habits and move toward a more organized work life in the new year, and beyond.
1. Start with Home Base: Clear Up Workspace Clutter
Take a moment and look at your desk. Can you see the top of it?
A study from the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute shows that physical clutter negatively impacts our ability to process information and focus. Make straightening and organizing your desk a top priority.
Above all else: Don’t be a hoarder. Throw away anything that you no longer need, and store items of importance in folders or designated drawers. Hold yourself to a system that works for you and helps keep the clutter from creeping back and taking over your workspace.
2. Employ a Virtual Teammate: Leverage Technology Where You Can
Simplify your life by automating part of it. Today’s job management, financial and email marketing tools enable different levels of automation that can simplify and speed up delivery of crucial aspects of your business.
Some automation ideas to consider include:
- Employ all-in-one workflow management software so that data can seamlessly (and automatically) flow to all aspects of your organization (i.e. from business development to project management to finance).
- Automate the generation and distribution of performance, financial and employee reports.
- Create automated invoice email reminders that get sent to clients, vendors or partners who are overdue on their payment.
- Set up automated bill pay so you don’t have to worry about keeping bills organized and paying them on time.
3. Define Daily Priorities: Always Know Which Tasks to Complete
For some, disorganization comes from not knowing which projects to prioritize.
Start your day with a hard look at your assignments. Consider deadlines, ROI potential or importance to a teammate’s responsibilities. Then, order your tasks from most-to-least important.
Also, consider when your brain is working at its peak (e.g. first thing in the morning, right before lunch, or even at 2 a.m.). Prioritize your more challenging tasks for these times, and tackle the less brain-intensive tasks for the parts of the day your brain may not be firing on all cylinders.
Let the transformation begin!
Becoming more organized doesn’t have to be as stressful as it can seem. Use the tips shared above, and take each task (regardless of how big or small) one small step at a time. Work to clear clutter from both your desk and your mind, prioritize your workload and focus your to-do list for greater efficiency in the work days ahead.
How are you planning to keep your workflow organized in 2015? Share your tips in the comment section below.
Image Source: Nick Keppol under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic