May 7, 2018

Getting up in the morning and getting ready for work is one thing. Getting in the car and fighting traffic to get to the office on time for that meeting you have is another thing. Then you walk into your office or desk area and you’re greeted with a messy desk, 500 emails in your “in box”, and you know your notes for the meeting are in the stack of papers somewhere.

Walking in to that kind of situation can lead to anxiety and start your day off on the wrong foot right away, and you have not even gone to the meeting yet! Here are 5 simple ways of getting organized at work to help you have a better day.



Set aside some time each day to file away emails. Create folders that are easy for you to remember what goes where. Sort by event, or project or department if you wish. If it is the new client ACME, maybe anything that has to do with Acme goes in that folder, then inside that folder you create sub-folders for specific project for ACME. The point here is that when something comes in, think about creating a folder like you used to do for your file cabinet, then put your items there. Do not file it away until the specific task is finished. Before I file it away, that task must be off my plate finished, then and only then do I file it away. This helps me with two things. Getting organized, and getting tasks done on time (I don’t like mail sitting in my “inbox” too long) Filling away all of those emails may take some time, but start the process and do a little bit each day. Soon you will be done, and your system will be perfect! Guess what happens then, less stress finding an email. When someone says I need this, you know exactly where to go. Even better, when they day they sent you something, you know exactly where to go and tell them they did not do it, or you found it. It helps you cover your ass(ets).



Any paper items I get that I need to keep or for a project that is being worked on go into a binder system I have. It is a simple system that keeps everything organized by project name. Anytime I need to access papers for ACME, I go to the “A” file tab in the binder, and ACME is right there. It’s fast and keeps papers off my desk and in one place where I KNOW I will find it and fast.  


Any item that is finished, gets recycled. I have maybe five paper file folders, and that’s a lot for me! If it is very important, I will scan it and save it in the files I have created on my Outlook folder or whatever program you may use. This help get rid of the clutter in the office right away. It the easiest thing to do. How many times have you gone back into that paper file folder for an item? Exactly my point. If it is important, scan it so you have a digital copy. There are not that many items regular office people to to have that many copies of something.



If you have bigger items, or things that you cannot put on your computer, but they are essential to your work/job routine- use clear plastic bins, and label them so you have easy access to them. I host brainstorm sessions, and I have bins for my markers and tape, bins for my toys to bring into the office, and bins for the treats I put out on the tables. I know exactly what is what, and when it’s meeting time, I have everything I need readily accessible.



This should be the last thing you do each day before you leave your work area. Clean it up. Put EVERYTHING away. All of it. Pens away, sticky notes in their place, computer keyboard and mouse away, everything. If you need to wipe things down, do it. No papers on the desk. Totally clean. You may be laughing a little at this one, but this step does two things. One, you walk away from your work area knowing in your mind you are finished. Done for the day. You know it’s clean for you tomorrow. And TWO- when you walk into a clean work area the next day, you’re going to be missing something. Stress and anxiety. It’s like coming home to a clean house! No dishes in the sink to wash, no dirty clothes hanging around. When you get to your work area, you can get right to your business. No messing around with trying to find papers, or cleaning off the coffee stain on the desk. Your emails are done, you know what on deck for the day and you SHOULD be good to go.


These are just five things to do, some people have others, but these are the five big ones for me. I have many more as well, but it can get a bit OCD on my side, but that what works for me. You will be different! SO how do you stay organized? Share some tips, I could use all the help I can get!