The Art of Organization in the Workplace

posted on Tuesday, April 30, 2024 in Grow Cedar Valley

The word that most people would probably use to describe me is organized.  I know that sounds about as exciting as getting a root canal, but when you consider that on average employees spend 25% of their workweek looking for things they need to do their job, organizing your work flow can actually be a game-changer.  So take a couple of minutes to grab a cup of coffee, take a deep breath, and read on.

If there is one thing I’ve learned, it’s there is not a one-size-fits-all approach - so I’m sharing a couple of tricks that work for me.  Glean what you will, but only you can discover what works best for you and your work style. 

Physical Work Environment:

Let’s talk about the magic of decluttering your workspace.  A cluttered workspace can hinder productivity and increase stress levels. Picture this: you strut into work ready to conquer the day; but instead of feeling inspired, your desk is buried under an avalanche of papers and random clutter.  But fear not, there is a simple trick to help you reclaim your desk (and peace)! 

At the end of every day, take two minutes to put away files and papers, keeping the top priority projects on top. Of course, this works best if you actually have a place for everything to go, which is the ultimate goal!  But at the beginning, even taking that pile of papers sitting on your desk and hiding them in a drawer or neatly stacking them will do wonders. Test it out for a couple of days and see if your mindset starts off a little more positive!

Digital Work Environment:

Now let’s talk about something we all probably need to tackle but keep pushing to the back burner – decluttering our digital workspace.  You know how it goes – one download or file shortcut leads to another, and suddenly your desktop resembles one of those photo mosaics where if you cross your eyes you can see a hidden picture. 

You’re going to have to get your hands dirty and be intentional about developing a system for organizing digital files that works for you.  You could choose to organize by date, by project, or by teams – all depending on how you work.  And if you use Microsoft Office, make friends with Pins.  You can easily pin and unpin the files you use frequently so you can access them quickly while keeping them off your desktop.

Emails… need I say more. Definitely learn to use the labels and folders features, and flag anything that you need to focus on later so you aren’t going down the rabbit hole of constantly responding and getting sucked away from the current priority. 

So there you have it - a crash course in conquering the chaos of the modern workplace. Be patient with yourself as you embark on this journey to discovering your own organization style, and know that your future self will thank you. Now go forth and conquer that clutter!

Sandi Sommerfelt

VP Operations