Tidying Up: A Guide to Workplace Organization
We’ve all been there. We have a busy week and the first thing we sacrifice is organization. We leave things in the quickest, most convenient place…our desk. Stacks begin to form, which turn into piles, then hills, and finally mountains. Eventually, we’re knee-deep in stuff and we have no idea where the invoice for last week’s sale went. Oh yeah, and where did I put my keys again?!
What is Organization?
Organization is more than just a clean area, it’s a clean lifestyle. You see, there are many aspects that combine to deliver the totality of organization. Organization is both a disciplined way of functioning and an oriented way of completing tasks. Once these two core roots are nourished, organization will begin to manifest in different areas of your life, even in the workplace. And workplace organization is where we are going to camp today.
Why Workplace Organization?
Let’s start with the most basic question pertaining to the subject at hand…Why is workplace organization even important? Too often, the benefits of organization get assumed and never thoroughly discussed. We’ve been raised from birth to keep our things tidy, so we just assume that’s the way it has to be and we don’t ever take the time to consider why. There are priceless benefits that can directly result from organization in your workplace. Let’s take a look at some of these benefits and add some meat to these bones.
Benefits of Organization in the Office
There are many benefits to nailing down organization in the office. While this list is by no means exhaustive, I’ve narrowed down to some of the most important benefits (in my very unprofessional opinion).
- Utilizing organization in the workplace will create a space and frame of mind that is conducive to productivity and efficiency. Not only will things be more accessible and easily available when needed, but you will be able to work in an organized manner.
- Organization will assist with bringing stress levels down and morale up. As you begin to organize your life and your work, you will notice an increase in motivation. You will be more motivated to do things and more content with the work you are doing. Having an organized workplace is the key to having an enjoyable workplace.
- We all have goals and aspirations; however, it can be hard to achieve them without being organized. Organization will assist us with achieving our goals and continuing to grow. The more organized you are, the easier it will be to grow and develop in your workplace.
Time for Action
Now that we know why organization is important and what benefits it can produce, it’s time to look at what we can do to get there. What are the most important steps to take for improved office organization? With some discipline and proper application of the following steps, you can be on your way to a more organized way of work and life.
Write it down
- We’re all a little more forgetful than we might like to admit. Avoid forgetting specifics by writing your tasks down and taking notes. The more you write, the easier it will be to recall and complete.
Manage Time Well
- Procrastination and poor time management are some of the quickest ways to destroy organization in the workplace. It is important that you tackle time management in order to promote healthy workplace organization. For more information on time management, check out our previous blog “On the Clock.”
Give Everything a Home
- In a perfect world, I know the exact location of everything I need at any given moment in time. Unfortunately, I am human and I misplace things. To combat this issue, it is vital that each one of our things begins to develop a home. Keep certain things in a certain place. This will take some of the stress away and completing tasks will be easier.
Take Out the Trash
- If you start to notice your space-filling with stuff, take some time to declutter. Odds are, there is a lot that you no longer need. Now, it is important that we are really honest with ourselves when doing this. Keep the things that you need, but have the discipline to get rid of the things you no longer use or need. This will help tidy up your space and allow for a clearer state of mind, especially when working.
- Organization can only come if you realize that you aren’t capable of doing everything. I get it…you have a vision and a specific way that you think things ought to be done. But the best and most organized leaders have trust in their team. They are able to delegate tasks and collectively work towards a goal. You will never be able to organize your workplace unless you are able to divide and conquer big tasks. Now, this might mean you have to clean house and build a stronger foundation. But you should strive to be in a place where you can delegate tasks to your team and trust them to get the job done.
- This should go without saying, but you can’t expect to get anything done if you don’t work hard at it. Everything requires effort and discipline. Wake up each day ready to work hard and give effort towards completing whatever it is that you are tasked with.
One Step at a Time
Don’t overwhelm yourself with the duty of cleaning and organizing every little thing in your life at once. Take one space or area at a time to organize. Get used to living, working, and functioning in that new, organized space, then move on to another area. Organization isn’t just something you do once, it’s a way of living that requires discipline. So, take your time and work your way towards a healthy, productive workspace.
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–The Berger Hargis Team