Struggling with the hybrid work model? Here are 18 ways to get organized
On a typical day, you hit snooze several times, then roll out of bed late because you were up till 3 a.m. watching Netflix.
On the way to the office, you realize the notes for your big presentation that day are still on the sideboard in the kitchen. You also notice your socks don’t match.
Your day passes in a blur of firing off emails and looking for physical and digital documents you were sure you left somewhere.
Meanwhile, you have a nagging suspicion you’re dropping the ball on something important, but you can’t remember what it is.
When you finally drag yourself home — exhausted — you can’t find your keys and have to call a locksmith.
After such a hectic day, you need to wind down watching your favorite series, and before you know it, it’s 3 a.m. once again.
Sound familiar? If so, you might have some organizational issues.
To kick all those bad habits once and for all, read on. This article will reveal our top 18 ways to get — and stay — organized at the office and while working from home.
Why is it important to stay organized at work?
Professional organizer Marie Kondo taught the world the importance of being organized in her book and subsequent Netflix series. But in case you’re still wondering why it helps to be organized at work, here are three of the main benefits.
1. It saves you time and money
First, and perhaps most obvious, being organized saves you time, and as we all know — time is money.
Being organized comprises a variety of factors, from a set daily routine to meal planning to a rock-solid filing system.
All of them reduce the amount of time you spend carrying out your daily tasks so you can get more done in less time.
2. It reduces stress
Being disorganized often leaves you running around like a headless chicken and feeling frazzled at the end of the day. So it probably won’t surprise you to know that a growing body of research links disorganization and clutter to higher levels of stress.
For instance, being surrounded by clutter can trigger a low-grade fight-or-flight response, which affects our cognitive abilities as well as our physical and mental health.
3. It makes you more creative
The byproduct of having more time and feeling less stressed is that it frees up space in your brain for creative thinking.
Creativity is essential in business as it helps us come up with solutions to problems and generate new ideas.
11 ways to stay organized in the office
Is your office more cluttered than the inside of an antique store? Does the idea of opening your inbox fill you with dread on the daily? If so, follow these eleven tips to get more organized at the office.
1. Declutter your desk
We’ve already seen that clutter causes stress, but did you know it can also cause procrastination? If you want to get organized once and for all, start with a clean desk.
Remove any unnecessary items from your desk, like that tacky souvenir your aunt brought you from her vacation on the Costa del Sol.
Clean the dust and throw out any old papers or random items that have accumulated on your desk. Then, replace only the essential items.
2. Use your commute
If you usually scroll through social media or listen to podcasts on your commute, you can repurpose your time to set yourself up for a more organized day.
For example, you could use this time to plan your day and prioritize your most important tasks. Or you could use it to declutter your mind by listening to a guided meditation.
3. Make friends with your filing system
Perhaps you feel like you spend most of your time searching for documents or information — if so, you’re not alone.
It turns out a whopping 50% of office workers spend more time searching for digital files than doing their jobs. And if you think finding digital files is difficult, try looking for a paper document that’s been filed incorrectly.
An intuitive, easy-to-use filing system is essential for businesses of any size — whether you’re a freelancer or the CEO of a corporation. Creating a system that makes sense will save you and your employees time and headaches and be good for your bottom line.
4. Prioritize your daily tasks
If you struggle with prioritization, try creating weekly lists for the upcoming week every Sunday evening or Monday morning.
Start by listing out all the action items you need to carry out. They can be in any order. Then, create a to-do list for the week in order of priority.
Make sure to break down any larger items into smaller, more manageable tasks that keep you moving forward.
5. Harness automation
If you haven’t started using automation yet, now is the time to start. Automation saves you and your team time and can be used for everything — from invoice processing to qualifying new sales leads.
Not only does automation help you be more organized, but it also boosts productivity. Two out of three knowledge workers say automation has helped them be more productive at work.
6. Get a good night’s sleep
A tired brain is a disorganized brain, so if you’re staying up till 3 a.m. binging your favorite shows, it’s probably time to rethink your bedtime routine.
According to the CDC, the average adult needs between seven and nine hours of sleep per night for optimal brain function. Whether you fall on the lower or higher end of the scale depends on your body’s unique needs.
7. Talk to your colleagues
This one might seem counterintuitive — if you’re standing around chatting to your coworkers, wouldn’t it make you less organized?
Well, perhaps if you’re gossiping all day, yes. But if you chat to your colleagues about their work, it can help you connect your role to theirs and see how both contribute to the company’s big-vision goals.
This knowledge can help you prioritize your work by giving you a clearer idea of what’s important.
8. Tame your inbox
The clutter principle also applies to your email inbox. A lack of organization there will create mental clutter and make it harder to find important information.
Inbox zero may seem like an unattainable dream, but it is possible. Set aside time each day to go through your emails, delete anything you don’t need, and create a filing system for everything you need to keep.
Once you have your inbox organized, keep it that way by dealing with each email as it comes in — either reply, delete, or set aside time to take action on it later. Minimize distractions by establishing two or three times each day to deal with emails.
9. Work in time blocks
Time management techniques, such as the Pomodoro technique, are a great way to stay focused on one task at a time.
If you tend to get sidetracked easily, time blocking your calendar can be an effective way to get things done
10. Set realistic goals
A lack of organization can often be traced back to unclear or unrealistic goal-setting. When setting goals, make sure they’re SMART — specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.
A goal that’s too large or overwhelming will be difficult to plan for and will result in lost motivation. Conversely, a clear and realistic goal can make it easier to organize your work.
11. Domesticate your digital workspace
Did you know that knowledge workers spend a jaw-dropping 30% of their time searching for information?
But the right tech — such as a spatial browser like Stack — can help you create a super-organized digital workspace and save you a whole lot of time and money.
How to stay organized while working from home
Screaming kids, interrupting roommates, and misbehaving pets are just some of the challenges of working from home.
Plus, the lines between work and personal life are less clear, making organization a challenge.
If you’re struggling to stay organized while working from home, here are seven tips for remote work organization bliss.
1. Set working hours (and stick to them)
Just like time blocking, setting fixed working hours can motivate you to get organized and complete your tasks within a certain amount of time. This can help prevent your work from spilling over into evenings and weekends.
Setting working hours also lets colleagues know when to expect a response from you. These boundaries are especially crucial for remote teams working across different time zones.
2. Manage your stress levels
Managing your stress levels and emotions will help you be more organized and productive at work.
Not only that, but research shows employee happiness actually increases sales. Employees were 13% more productive when they self-reported feeling “very happy.”
Some techniques for managing your stress levels include:
- Taking regular breaks
- Eating a balanced diet
- Meditation and yoga
- Going for a walk
3. Have a dedicated workspace
Having a dedicated office space in your home can help you get organized by providing a place for everything you need to get your work done.
On a psychological level, working in the same place every day can help you get into the mindset you need to stay focused on the task at hand.
4. Ask others not to disturb you
Did you know it takes over 20 minutes to regain your focus after a single distraction?
Constant interruptions derail your thought processes and slow down progress on your tasks, so let the people who share your living space know that you need to be left alone during working hours.
5. Sync your calendars
We all seem to have multiple calendars these days — from the good ol’ paper calendar to your personal Google Calendar.
A mishmash of different calendars is a disorganized person’s nightmare, as it can lead to missing appointments or arriving late for meetings.
Fortunately, activating the sync function and notifications can save you from those embarrassing “sorry I’m late” moments.
6. Stick to a daily routine
When you follow a daily routine, your brain gets used to doing the same things at the same time every day. After a while, the routine becomes ingrained, and you’ll carry out your daily tasks as automatically as brushing your teeth.
If the idea of creating an entire daily routine seems overwhelming, try adding one habit at a time. Give each habit two-to-three weeks to become established before adding the next one.
7. Hide your smartphone
We all know that smartphones are a huge distraction. But did you know that just having your phone near you negatively affects your cognitive ability?
It’s all-too-easy to reach for social media when you’re feeling slightly bored, but if your phone is out of reach, you can’t pick it up.
Having your phone in another room will also prevent phone calls and push notifications from distracting you.
How Stack can help you stay organized
If your digital workspace is like a jungle, it’s time to get out your virtual machete.
Stack is the world’s first spatial browser designed to help you reclaim both your digital space and your mind for maximum mindfulness and productivity at work.
Here are some of its cool features that can help you stay organized at home and in the office.
With Spaces, you can divide the personal from the professional and create a dedicated workspace for each of your projects.
Our Saved Cards are a bit like bookmarks — only better. You can save any kind of app, file, or website and group related items together for easy access.
Rid your desktop of clutter with Ghost Cards. This feature allows you to close all your temporary windows with just one click.
Focus Mode mutes all your notifications so you can stay focused. You can also group your notifications together and check them at a set time.
Switch allows you to jump between apps using the search feature. This helps prevent distractions that arise from clicking around between multiple windows and tabs.
Make being organized your superpower
Learning how to stay organized can make you happier, healthier, more productive, and richer, practically making it a superpower.
With a few organization hacks and the right tech, you can put your days of disorganization behind you.
The virtual workspace is the next frontier in the quest to stay organized. That’s why we created Stack Next, a spatial browser for your computer.
It allows you to create a personal virtual universe and stay organized every day. Join the waitlist for Stack Next — launching soon.