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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Everything in its proper place

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WORKING from home and going to the office alternately for the past weeks has made me realize the need to ensure I have the files I need when I work from home. Cloud storage has made it easier, but I need to be mindful of file size and my limited storage space. Not to mention confidential files which cannot be taken out of the office and the people I need to talk to. I had to organize my documents and schedule to keep in sync wherever I may be working.

Personal organization is maximizing your work and personal space to make room for the important things in your work and life. Whether it is decluttering, arranging your workspace in a certain manner, or the so-called organized chaos, you need to arrange your things so you can get things done efficiently. Minimalism offers an alternative way of maximizing your space but if it does not work for you, there are other ways of making space for the things you need to do your work, and have enough room for your creative pursuits. Take note also that personal organization does not mean just your workspace but also your desktop. Since most of your work is done on a computer, it will do you well to keep even your computer and desktop organized.

Having things in order helps reduce anxiety. Whatever method you choose for organizing your space, it should work for your purpose. A well-organized personal space, either at work or in your work-from-home setup, can help you do the important tasks first and then move on to the less strenuous ones. It will also keep distractions at a minimum and help you focus on one task at a time. In today’s attention span of eight seconds, it takes so little to divert you from what you need to do.

Getting organized will also help you do more in less time. Since you have everything in place, it becomes easier to do your work smoothly and efficiently. You now have more time for hobbies and other things. This increases your productivity and the added time helps you perform better because you can have more in-between times to catch your breath.

Putting everything where you need them is a lot harder than you think. It is not a one-off activity but more of a deliberate decision you do daily and something you instinctively maintain just like a habit. And by doing it repeatedly for at least 21 days, it will become part of your daily routine.

To start being organized, identify what you need to do for the day or, if possible, for the entire week. This will dictate how you will create a workspace which will complement the effort involved in the tasks you need to accomplish. This will also help you plan out your work area, so you have everything you need at arm’s length.

As much as possible, arrange everything in your workspace so that you can work on the most important tasks first. If you can, designate an area where you can put everything you need to accomplish for the day and those requiring urgent responses, and then work your way into sorting out the things you can put off or do not need. If you use it daily, you need to put it out. If not, keep it in an accessible area.

One thing that helps me keep organized is adopting a clean desk policy. I used to be in an industry where I share workspace with other users, and the company had a policy of keeping your area free from anything which could prevent another user from using the workspace efficiently. And since the office was also paperless and everything was done digitally, it became easier for me to organize my desktop and workspace.

And speaking of technology, you need to take advantage of existing applications on your computer and mobile phones. Use an app for tracking tasks, or use an online calendar so you can sync your tasks with your mobile device. This helps you get updated on your upcoming meetings and the things to do even on the go.

In using the app or calendar, I suggest putting in all your tasks so that you can map out how you will apportion your time in a day. The bottomline here is keeping one calendar or tracker for what you need to do throughout the day. You can create a checklist for the things you need to do and put in breaks so you can give yourself a reward for every task done so you feel more invigorated to push on toward the next tasks.

Use a physical notebook or an online notebook for meetings and keeping track of projects. As much as possible, avoid using sticky notes for reminders as these can easily get lost or misplaced, whereas a notebook can be a handy reference for everything you have been working on. If needed, divide your notebook into work categories so you can easily find notes on past meetings, instructions and agreement. Having a handy notebook with you can also help you jot down ideas that might come up anytime.

In all of these, you are not only managing your resources but your time as well. As Thomas Edison once said, “Time is really the only capital any human being has, and the one thing he can’t afford to waste.” And to make the most of your time at work, schedule the important tasks first. But do not also forget to schedule your free time. Always block off time for you to take a short walk or a breather. And if by chance you see an extended free time, schedule it for a fun learning activity so you can maximize your time.

To sustain the level of organization needed for your work, you need to make a personal decision to maintain an organized workspace, and to deliberately arrange your things to serve your purpose. Whether you are working in the office or working from home, you can make the most of your workspace and your time by putting everything in their proper place.

Read full article on BusinessMirror

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