Article Written by Connor MacNeil, WAM Enterprises LLC
I hear it all the time: There’s never enough hours to get all my work done! Unfortunately, I can’t provide you with the answer to time travel, but I can offer you a few tips to help maximize your time spent actually working. Working at a start-up has left me with a list of never ending tasks, teaching me the lesson that organization is necessary if your goal is to maximize efficiency. I’m here to offer you some of my advice on this matter, so, here are my 5 Tips to Maintaining an Organized Work-space.
1. Organize before clocking out:
Everyone loves coming home to a freshly made bed, so why can’t the same apply to your work-space. Tidying up your desk before leaving work allows you to start the next morning with a full head of steam, and let’s be honest, if you’re having one of those mornings, the last thing needed is another distraction. If you’re able to keep an organized work-space it will help to maximize personal productivity from the moment you sit down for work.
2. Keep a To-Do list:
I don’t care how smart you think you are, it’s not logical to keep all your priorities organized in your head. By creating a To-Do list, it allows you to visualize the amount of work that is on your plate, keep track of important tasks and gauge your progress as you cross off completed items. Include everything on this list, from the biggest project to the smallest task; crossing them off feels good and will help keep you motivated. Update this list every day before leaving work in order to keep track of your progress and in turn this will help you reinforce tip #1.
3. Don’t eat at your desk:
Eating at your desk creates clutter, plain and simple. Think about how many objects you have on your desk. Personally I have 6 items (laptop, monitor, mouse, to-do list, cellphone, notepad), and if I were to eat at my desk, that number would almost double with the addition of sandwich, napkins, drink, silverware or chips. Although this may not seem like a big deal, maintaining a clean work-station is just another way to maintain a high level of productivity throughout the work day. Finding different snacking hot-spots allows for those much needed, stress relieving breaks from your desk that are crucial to keeping a clear head.
4. Folders on your lap top:
I’ve mentioned one of my desk items is a laptop, which also happens to be my most utilized one. As a marketer, keeping my laptop internally organized is crucial to my success. Strategically organizing documents, graphics, videos and more from multiple clients enables me to find any single file in seconds. As a result, I am a huge advocate for desktop folders. Through the use of folders, I almost funnel myself right down to the exact file that I am looking for. For example I create graphics for various clients so that I have a folder titled Clients Graphics; within that folder are folders labeled with each client that I have done graphic work for, and within each client folder are more folders labeled website images, blog images, etc. This allows me to find exactly what I’m looking for at the drop of a dime.
5. Keep up to date with emails:
Finally, the dreaded email inbox. Working at a start up requires me to wear a variety of hats, which also leaves me with a full inbox 50-75 per day. To stay on top of this and not create a backlog, I abide by two rules: delete at least 1 email every time I check my inbox (most of the time it ends up being multiple) and create folders for different clients or projects (just like my desktop). By cleaning out your inbox, it reduces the chances of accidentally missing an important client email or not being able to find an important message from your mother or boss.