Top 11 Tips for Work Organization and Productivity

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated February 22, 2021 | Published November 5, 2020

Updated February 22, 2021

Published November 5, 2020

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Staying organized and productive at work helps you stay focused and complete tasks on time. When you are organized and productive, you can prioritize work and excel in your job, which aids your career progress and success. You have several options for organizing your responsibilities and tasks depending on your work style. In this article, we offer tips to help you get organized and stay productive while working.

Tips for work organization and productivity

Consider the following ways to stay organized at work:

Set goals

Achievable goals can help you stay focused and productive. When you set specific goals with steps and a timeline, you can organize your work into more manageable tasks. Create both long- and short-term goals, and add milestones to your calendar to make sure you stay on task.

Track progress

To make sure you achieve your goals in the time you allotted, you should track your progress. Tracking progress can also help you identify when you're most productive. For example, you might notice you accomplish more at the start of the week or in the morning. With this information, you can decide when to work on your most important tasks.

Some approaches to tracking your progress include logging in time you worked, tallying hours used toward a project and blocking moments of your day where you complete specific tasks.

Use an agenda

An agenda is an excellent tool to evaluate your work organization and productivity. When using a planner, write down specific events and their details throughout the days, weeks and months. This strategy keeps you aware of what meetings and due dates you have coming up in your schedule. As a result, you're more likely to meet your goals and remember specific events.

There are many types of agendas. Some agendas have a space for every day, while others are weekly or monthly. Think about what kind of planner would best suit you and your work. If you work on your computer often, consider using a digital agenda where you add events to specific dates.

Related: How To Write a Meeting Agenda: Tips, Templates and Samples

Create to-do lists

To-do lists are simple yet highly effective lists to help maintain productivity throughout the day. Use to-do lists to write down important tasks you want to accomplish. Try to organize your work based on urgency. For example, you can add what you need to complete by the end of the day at the top of your list and what can wait until the next day toward the bottom.

Consider writing your to-do lists on a sticky note or in a notebook. When using this approach, think of ways to organize your to-do list. For example, use different colored pens to distinguish between items, such as a blue pen to designate a team meeting and a red pen to label urgent responsibilities.

Related: How To Take Notes

Have accountability

When you hold yourself accountable, you reflect on your to-do list, evaluate your progress toward goals and identify ways to improve your performance. Regularly check in with yourself to determine your progress and find areas where you can approve. You can also develop a system of accountability with your coworkers by holding regular check-ins with each other.

Limit distractions

It is much easier to concentrate on work for longer periods of time in an organized workspace. When you limit distractions, you maintain your focus on your current task. Limit distractions by keeping your space simple and organized. Keep common distractions, like your phone, in your desk or a different room.

Incorporate a timer

Keep track of how much time you spend on different tasks to see if there are areas where you can better use your time. When you start and end a task, start and end your timer. Consider using time-keeping applications to see how much time you spend on certain tasks. At the end of the week, reflect on your use of time and how to be more productive. For example, you could try limiting the amount of time you spend checking your emails if you notice you don't have much time to complete other priority tasks.

Keep a clean environment

In an organized office, you find supplies and materials easily, which makes your workflow more consistent. When you keep a clean environment, you also create a professional-looking workspace that clients and coworkers appreciate.

Keeping a clean environment includes putting items back where they belong, disinfecting your desk with cleaning wipes and opening your windows for fresh air. A clean environment is a comfortable one, which makes staying productive easier.

Decluttering your workspace is a key part of staying clean and organized. Once a week or month, take stock of your workspace and remove any items that you don't use daily. Throw away any outdated to-do lists, and file away completed work.

Use labels

Labels are a practical approach to organizing your files. Clearly label each file, and organize them in a way that makes the most sense to you. For example, you could organize your files in alphabetical order or by year.

Use this approach for digital files, too. Clearly labeled files and folders on your computer are much easier to locate without having to search for them for a long time.

Related: 10 Time Management Tips for Professionals

Sort your email

Many employees and clients use email to communicate with each other, and as a result, you might find your email inbox full of emails. Sorting your emails avoids clutter in your inbox and helps you find important emails faster.

Create digital folders in your email to sort all your messages. Folders categorize your emails in the appropriate place. If available, use tags or star labels to designate valuable emails. Labeling emails reminds you to reply to senders and keeps important emails in one place.

Take breaks

Breaks are an important way to keep focus and stay productive. Breaks keep you motivated because you avoid over-working yourself in a short period. As a result, you often can work for longer. During your break, go on a short walk, practice meditation or get a snack. Make sure you take your break away from your workspace to completely reset your focus.

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