The Tool Shed Blog

Stay Organized at Work: Mastering Workflow for Peak Productivity

Do you find yourself distracted and unproductive during work as you try to run from one task to the next? Maybe it's time to stop that train before it leaves the station. Staying organized at work can sometimes be hard to do. With many nagging issues affecting your mental peace, you might be wondering how to stay organized during work.

We’ve all had days at work when we are really busy. There are several times when I have had my hands full with four or more different projects. And at these points in time, my brain is overloaded with thoughts, ideas, to-do lists, etc.. in need of some sort of organization. Being organized isn’t just about looking the part. Being organized also helps you to work more efficiently, and this can even help you to get promoted. So if that's part of your career goals, then you are on the right track.

Planning and staying organized is vital to maintaining control of every little thing you need to do. Organization is the key to success in your business once you have created a solid foundation. If you're not organized, you can become overwhelmed and quickly succumb to procrastinating. And this, in turn, affects both your business and your personal life.

I know that sometimes it can be challenging to stay organized. You may take on more projects than you can handle, for example. And then, very soon, you don’t know where to start. This leaves you constantly wondering if you are making any progress at all. But I’m here to tell you that there are proven strategies that you can employ to make it easier to stay organized during work.

Here are ten tips to help you stay organized during work.

1. Learn how to prioritize tasks

Prioritizing is just as important a work tool as an internet connection when you're working remotely. You'll have a lot on your plate, from responding to essential emails to taking part in meetings.

Being organized means prioritizing these tasks so you can spend as much time as possible on the most important things. These may be either long-term projects or short-term goals depending on what stage of your career you're at. For example, if you are managing a new project that needs to be completed by the end of the quarter, then that should take priority over everything else – including replying to emails – until the task is complete.

2. It's important to make lists

Procrastination is the thief of time. So get an early start by writing down a list of the things you must get done today. And prioritize according to what are your most important tasks and what can wait.

The best way to stay organized is to keep track of all the tasks that need to get done. And then cross them off as they're completed. A solid daily routine including creating a daily list not only keeps you on top of what you need to do. It also helps you relax at the end of the day by allowing you to see everything accomplished.

It's also a good idea to make lists of errands and phone calls that need to be made. These lists will come in handy when you're too busy at work and can't remember what else needs to be done. Every time you finish a task, add it to your list so that it will be entered into your memory. This will keep your mind free from clutter and help you become more productive in your daily tasks.

3. Employ proper time management

When it comes to time management, there are two basic goals.

The first thing is to work smarter, not harder. An effective way to do this is by using time blocks. This helps separate your day into manageable parts.

The second goal is to avoid stress. Not only does stress create problems, but it can prevent you from working at all.

Time management is the key to maintaining both an organized and efficient working environment, especially if you are working with a remote team. Without time management you would be disorganized, inefficient, and stressed. People don't enjoy having a full desk with deadlines that are all coming due at the same time. You would not be able to handle your responsibilities on time. And you would always run late, be stressed out, and miss your deadlines. These are all things you want to avoid in the workplace because they cause problems with co-workers, clients, and bosses.

4. Prepare for the unexpected

Unfortunately, unexpected events do happen. But don't let them throw off your schedule. Instead, make room for them when they do occur. It's better to be prepared than stressed out. That's because an unexpected event may cause you to be late for something else. And you don't want to start that domino effect going through your work life. You want to continue to produce quality work.

5. Use calendars and planners

Calendars and planners are excellent organizational tools. There are three different types that you can use for your work calendar:

  • An actual paper calendar that you write on. This is the most classic way to do things. They're easy to find, either by buying them or making one yourself. To make a calendar, all you need is a blank notebook and some markers. Some people prefer to have their calendars on their smartphones. This way they don't forget anything. But if you're one of those people who would always forget to check their phone, then an actual paper calendar might be better for you.

  • The second type is online calendars like Google Calendar. And there are a number of apps for this. Download an app on your mobile device or computer, and sync it with your email access. This way, whenever you receive an email with an appointment attached to it, the details of that particular event will show up on your calendar automatically.

  • The third option is the mix of the previous two (paper calendar and online calendar). You may want to make your own schedule first. But if you can't remember everything, some things might slip through the cracks. So having access to the online version of your schedule is very convenient for anyone who has a busy schedule, as you do.

6. Delegate tasks to your team

If you are constantly running late due to your packed schedule, consider delegating some tasks to others or even automating repetitive tasks. Hire an assistant or simply make use of your current team members, colleagues, or employees. And use them as a resource for certain duties or items that aren't necessarily crucial but still need attention.

This will allow you more time for things like client meetings and completing major projects without too much hassle. The truth is that if you can focus only on the most important stuff, your workflow will be a lot smoother.

7. Reduce clutter

We all know how it feels when our desk or work area is cluttered and disorganized. It can reduce productivity.

A clean desk makes it easier to find any important documents or information you need. Plus, it also reduces distractions. Try to work in small batches. This helps you to concentrate and finish one task at a time.

Another cool tip for a clutter-free workspace at home or in the office is to color code your files. For example, you can use red for the important stuff or urgent items. Then maybe yellow for projects that are almost complete. And blue can be for projects that will take weeks or months, etc. Then from here, you can create folders or labels for your files so that you can easily find them later.

8. Don't multitask

The truth is, some of us just love to multitask, and that's the real problem. Shifting from one task to another can cause you to forget where you left off or miss a critical step. Multitasking is also stressful and can feel like time is slipping away from you.

These problems happen because we're not doing one thing at a time, but rather trying to do multiple things at once. I mean, we check email messages while we read a report. Or we surf the web while we talk on the phone. So in theory this seems great since it seems to save time. After all, more than one thing can get done at once. But in practice, it just doesn't work that way. Daniel J. Levitin, author of The Organized Mind, states that multitasking does more harm than good when it comes to cognition.

You can only be focused on one thing at a time. So the best way to stay productive during work hours in your home office is to focus on one task at a time. And if you find yourself juggling too many things at once, stop and prioritize your task list before you get started again.

9. Compartmentalize your desk space

This is one of the most important things you can do to stay organized while working in an office space. You need to make sure that each tool or supply has its own dedicated space and doesn't get mixed up with things from other projects. This way, when you need something specific, like a stapler or a box of staples, you can just reach into that one spot and get it whenever you need it.

10. Take breaks

Take breaks every 90 minutes. Whether you're on the computer or working with your hands, take a five-minute break to stretch or walk around. Research shows that taking breaks improves focus and productivity. If you're worried about losing momentum, set an alarm to go off once every 90 minutes.

In addition, when we talk about taking breaks, we are also talking about taking time off. Make sure that you set aside free time where you are not working. In other words, don't neglect your vacation days. So take that family vacation to relax and unwind. A great way to test your organizational skills is by not having to cut your time off short to catch up on work.


At the end of the day, you want to be productive. Good organization is one of the different approaches that you can take to remain on the right track to reaching your career goals. Successful people like Steve Jobs believe in the value of organization. And a good organizational system is not just limited to your physical space. It also involves what's going on in your mind. So you don't want any unnecessary notifications going off when you are focusing on work.

For most people, some things like taking breaks and proper time management will take some time to get used to. But before long, these good organizational habits will be second nature to you. Plus, there are a lot of digital tools out there to guide you and get your work environment just right. So follow these best practices and keep on producing your best work.

Do you need help ensuring that your team stays prductive and organized throughout the day? Let gardenpatch help. Schedule a consultation with a growth advisor, today!

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