No More Clutter: Ways to Organize and Prioritize Your Work

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We all have days when there’s simply too much on our plate at work. If we have client meetings left and right, how can we finish our deliverables for the day? If we can’t actually find our desk under all the clutter, how can we get any work done?

Perhaps, it’s time to reconsider our prioritizing and organizing skills. After all, we want to be able to have (proper) lunch or go home early every once in a while and enjoy life, right?


Unless you’re one of those people who prefer and actually thrive while buried under piles of paper, empty soda cans and pizza boxes on their desk, the rule of thumb is to declutter. Check out the following organizing tips:

1. Throw away what you don’t need. If you haven’t used it in a while, you probably will not need it anytime in the future.

2. The one-touch rule. If you touch it, deal with it. Don’t set it aside to collect dust on your desk for the next few months. Either it goes to your to-do list or straight to the appropriate file for storage. This applies to email, too.

3. File away. Use color-coded folders, use separate drawers, tag them in whichever way you prefer. Even if it only makes sense to you, create a filing system that suits your working style.


Image from by Alejandro Escamilla


As projects land on your desk, check when they are due and classify each according to complexity. You will be able to tell right away if the project can be feasibly done on the expected due date and arrange for a more realistic expectation. You can also have the workload divided among other team members in order to make the date. You can then mark it down in your calendar, which essentially becomes your to-do list.

It doesn’t matter in what form it comes. You can use an effective app that works for you or simply use your good old-fashioned desk calendar. There are smart mobile apps out there, such as TimeTact, to help you manage your time efficiently. The idea is to provide yourself with a clear picture of what your day, your week or even your entire month looks like.

Mastering your organizing and prioritizing skills will help you avoid unnecessary stresses at work, thus, making it easier to stay in a positive frame of mind, which in turn promotes productivity in the workplace. 


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