How to Get Organized at Work to Reach Your Career Goals Faster

Posted: July, 3, 2020 | Categories: Workplace Tips & Professionalism

Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up. -A. A. Milne


It’s no secret that organization is an important aspect of success. The more difficult part is understanding what it means to be organized and how one goes about getting there. Being organized in the workplace means having well-constructed goals and schedules, a neat workspace, and all of your information gathered and sorted systematically. Being organized helps you optimize your time and space, allowing you to work smarter and reach your career goals more quickly and efficiently. The following are some simple things you can do to organize your goals, space, and information to achieve great results.





Organize Your Goals


Having a clear idea of your goals and how you plan to reach them will help you manage your time more wisely and reach those goals faster. Start by making a list of your goals, the objectives it will take to achieve them, then begin prioritizing these items. To make the process more efficient, try following these methods:

  1. Create a to-do checklist- Sometimes it can be difficult to figure out where to start. Start with one checklist that highlights all of your career goals, write down your broad career goals such as “Restructure Training Program” or “Finish Annual Report”. Once you have your larger goals written down, you can go back and start to add more detailed step-by-step actions you need to take in order to reach those career goals quicker. Keeping a single to-do checklist will help you organize your tasks and track which tasks you have already completed.
  2. Prioritize Your Tasks- Once you’ve made your checklist, go back and decide which goals need to be completed first in order to reach your main goal. Then, give yourself an estimated “due-date” for each goal and start planning deadlines along the way that will help you reach your goals faster. Having a set period of time for which you want to reach your goal makes it more tangible and easier to track your progress.
  3. Set Reminders- It’s easy to set goals and give yourself due dates, but not as easy to stay on track. Hold yourself accountable by setting regular reminders for each goal. Use a physical planner or digital calendar to keep in mind when a deadline is coming up. You can even set alarms on your phone for priority tasks that you cannot afford to forget. 





Organize Your Space


A 2011 report by OfficeMax found that office clutter undermines productivity and motivation. Having an organized workspace will help you get more quality work done at a more efficient pace. By following these steps on how to organize your office space, you can successfully increase your efficiency and start working smarter. 

  1. Clean out your Inbox- Start by separating your inbox into two categories: 1. Unimportant emails that can be trashed 2. Emails that need to be saved. Then, delete all the emails that can be trashed and look at the emails that need to be saved, separating those emails into relevant folders. I like to keep a to-do folder for all emails related to projects I am currently working on. Once a project has been completed, I transfer it to a “Completed” folder so I can keep track of my projects and their relevant email chain. Organizing your inbox will help you track and reply to your emails more efficiently.
  2. Declutter your desk- Keep your space and mind clear by throwing out anything you don’t need. Important documents that can’t be thrown out but are not accessed every day should be sorted in a filing cabinet with folders or in labeled bins so they stay neat and off of your workspace. Any documents you access regularly should have a specific place they belong such as an accordion folder or desk organizer. Having a decluttered desk, however, doesn’t mean that your desk needs to be completely empty and dull. Add a plant or some pictures so you are happy in your space!
  3. Before you go home- Make it a habit of leaving your desk clean and organized before you go home, so you won’t have to sift through piles of projects and memos to find what you need when you want to get started the next morning. Anything you worked on for the day should be filed or put away. Throw out any trash left on the desk as well. Coming in to a clean desk will guarantee a more efficient start to any work day.




Organize Your Information


Organizing your information will help you work more efficiently by reducing the amount of time you have to spend researching information that you might have already learned in the past.

  1. Keep a binder- Collect all of the information you have gathered on companies, communities, or projects and start organizing your information using tabs. You can decide how you would like to organize the information within your binder, but remember to start with sections. Make sure to keep important or frequently used documents towards the front of the binder. This will make it easier to locate the information when it comes up in the future.
  2. Use a notebook- Notebooks are essential to organizing your information. Always keep detailed notes of everything you are currently working on. When starting a notebook, leave the first two pages blank for a table of contents that you can fill out as you use your notebook. Starting on the third page (the first page you will take notes on), begin to number your pages. As you fill out your notebook you can number your pages and put information into your table of contents for easier access in the future. For more advice on how to organize your notebook, read The Order Expert’s article How to Organize a Notebook for Work.
  3. Maintain your Virtual Desk- Keeping your virtual information organized is just as important as your physical information. If you have a phone or a computer that you use for work, start to organize your documents by first limiting the amount of folders you have. Keep a main folder where you can easily access everything and within that folder you can start creating separate folders for projects, reports, etc. 



By JWilliams Staffing

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