Work organization is an important skill to master. This not only reflects a professional demeanor but also allows you to become more productive and relaxed while creating a stress free environment.
Our ability to be productive is directly proportional to our ability to relax. Only when our minds are clear and our thoughts are organized can we achieve stress-free productivity.
- Color Code Folders – Use color coded files to dedicate to each given topic and then each of the sub categories of that topic.
For instance let’s say that I am a buyer for a small department store. If I separate the store into pieces of categories such as Kitchen, Garden, Hardware, Toys etc. and then I take one category using red folders, lets use kitchen, and break that down placing sub-categories of kitchen behind the main folder like, pots, mixing bowls, silverware etc all using red folders.
Then use a different color for the next category and its sub-categories and so on. In your main folder you may choose to keep material like different vendor solicitations or lists of what that department should stock.
In its sub-categories, such as pots, you may have a list of each vendor you purchase from – the item – the description - how many you should stock – wholesale price – and retail price of each piece. You will be able to find any file quickly and efficiently.
- Junk Drawer– If it’s junk throw it away. If it is something you plan to keep at work find an appropriate place to put it. Use a folder, plastic bin, post it on a bulletin board or place it into a marked container.
- Calendars– Make use of a wall calendar and a desk calendar and separate their uses for assigned topics so that at a quick glance you have the information that you need.
- Organizers– Organizers also have calendars to track important dates and meetings but you should also keep ongoing lists of questions you need to ask.
Using the same department store adventure lets say I have some questions for a vendor in reference to his product or maybe I am contemplating adding another line of items, rather than calling the vendor each time I thought of a question I would just jot the question in my organizer.
When the vender and I spoke next I could open my organizer to reference all of the questions that I had listed to ask and I would note key words next to the question so that I could retrieve from memory what the response to the question was.
- Phone numbers– File phone numbers by how you most easily know your contacts. Traditionally we are taught to file all correspondence numbers by their last name but it is far easier to remember a first name than it is a last. It may be easier to file by first name, or by company name.
- Organize your office- By focusing on work organization you should seldom have piles of paperwork and unfinished projects (unless they are organized piles and projects).
Not everything can be done right away—we have accepted this bit of knowledge.
You will be amazed at how un-cluttering your surroundings can reduce your frustration, give you peace, and increase your efficiency.
When you receive an important directive or information that you may need to refer to at a later date, either file it or act on it but don’t make piles of papers that in a week will take you hours to go through, re-read and file in their appropriate files.
By operating more efficiently and smoothly, you will reduce your frustration, save yourself time and therefore reduce the stress you place on yourself.
- Computer and e-mail– Just as the color coded files you will make one folder for your category, open that folder and then create all of your sub-categories that are placed into that folder. Your computer files are just as your file cabinet folders accept these are condensed in a much smaller space.
Always back up you hard drive of your computer to protect from any viruses that may contaminate your files forcing you to have to dump everything on your computer.
- Make Use of Cabinets and Containers- If your place of employment has you dealing with paperwork, work organization is essential to be productive.
When you receive a call you can easily reference material to find an answer to a question. You will become more efficient in your abilities to do your job and increase your skills that will lead you into advancing in your career.
There is an enormous amount of work organizational tools to help you, from bins, boxes, containers, files and way to many varieties to list here, utilize them.
- Organizing your thoughts– Work organization isn't all about paper. When you are presented with a frustrating problem train yourself not to react immediately but to gather and organize your thoughts and information then get back to the person at a later time.
Never rely on your immediate response, since when you are frustrated you tend to act in an irrational manner. Take the time to back away from the situation and think about how you want to respond and deal with the issue.
- Create the Atmosphere- Be certain that you create an atmosphere not only of relaxation but of work organization and professionalism.
Take inventory of the atmosphere that surrounds you at work. If you work in a position that allows you to inject some personality into your workspace do so, but keep certain priorities in mind. If you can choose paint or wallpaper for your immediate surroundings, lean towards the soft colors, which will give you a feeling of peace.
When you choose decorative pieces to place in your space, take your time with these selections. Choose items that:
Use candles or potpourri to provide some added atmosphere as well as a soothing scent in the air.
If you don’t have one already, you may want to purchase a simple CD player and some CDs with relaxing sounds to keep you focused on calming thoughts.
- Learn to delegate- Sometimes individuals don’t want to delegate simply because they want to prove to someone that they are capable of completing many tasks. Some may not want to teach or help another individual learn and advance, fearing they are placing their own position in jeopardy.
Perfectionists feel they are the only ones able to complete the task accurately, and they find it difficult to place faith in others. You need to understand that delegating contributes to your work organization, while someone may not undertake the task the same way as you, delegating will create a much-needed gap in your schedule for you to organize or take that needed break that re-energizes you.
You will still need to follow up on the work you have delegated to be sure it is complete and accurate, but this takes much less time than completing the project yourself. By letting go of some control you are giving someone else the opportunity to learn.
I hope these work organization tips are helpful to you and provide some great ideas.