Sometimes, despite your best efforts, your workday seems to get away from you. With so much to do and so little time to get it all accomplished, it’s easy to find yourself feeling frustrated, lost, and unsure of where to start. Staying on top of your many responsibilities at work can be a challenge, but with these tips, you’ll be better able to prioritize your tasks and make sure every day is efficient and organized.
- Start the day with a clear mind
When you come to work worried and anxious, it’s going to reflect on the rest of the day. Even if you’re stressed from the moment you walk through the door, take a few moments just for you before you get moving. Check your email, brew some coffee in the break room, or swing by your pal in accounting’s desk to chat for a moment; find a way to relax, and make it a part of your routine.
- Tackle the hardest jobs first
It’s only natural to dread the hardest tasks on your agenda, but there’s no reason to let them ruin your day. No matter how much you’d prefer to put off the biggest, most challenging projects, taking them on first thing in the morning when you’re still fresh can give you the motivation to get things done while eliminating stressors before they have time to wear on you.
- Make a to-do list – and stick to it
There’s a lot on your plate, but that doesn’t mean it has to overwhelm you. Instead of letting the pile of work in front of you get you down, make a to-do list. Write down everything you have to do today, tomorrow, and for the rest of the week, and stick to it. Add new tasks as they come up, and cross out the ones completed successfully.
- Cut down on meetings
You may feel as though all of those meetings on your calendar are of the utmost importance, but take a good, hard look and ask yourself how many you could miss with minimal consequences. Instead of spreading yourself thin attending non-mandatory gatherings, appoint a coworker to take notes on calls and conferences that aren’t essential.
- Take time to clear your mind
It can be hard to rationalize a break when you’re busy, but it’s a big part of staying calm and focused. When the pressure is on, take a few minutes and take a walk, get some water, or use the bathroom. Simply stretching your legs and briefly directing your attention elsewhere can give you the mental reprieve you need to stay focused on the tasks at hand.
- Keep your desk clean
A messy desk may not seem like a problem, but when you’re losing important papers, struggling to find agendas, and having trouble remembering what you stored where, it can only add to your stress. Do your best to keep your desk area clutter-free, even if that means requesting a filing cabinet or a set of drawers to put your paperwork in.
- Stop multitasking
Multitasking may seem like an inevitability in the business world, but it doesn’t have to be. Even though it may not feel like it, multitasking splits your attention in a consequential way, leaving you unable to give 100% to any one task. Handle a single task at a time, and keep working on it until you are completely finished.
- Don’t be afraid to delegate
When you’re used to handling everything yourself, giving over the reins can be very overwhelming. However, it’s also a big part of being an effective manager or team member. If you have tasks you know someone else could take on, don’t be afraid to delegate some of your responsibilities. Give clear directions and a deadline, and move on to something else.
- Cut down on email
When you have a quick question for another member of your team, email is often the go-to form of communication. As convenient as it is, however, it can leave you with more work later while you sit around waiting for answers. Instead, make it a point to call or instant message whenever possible, keeping your inbox clear for more important communications.
- Ask for help
When you’re stumped and aren’t sure where to turn, it can feel frustrating, especially when it’s starting to impact your productivity. Instead of spinning your wheels, get in touch with a supervisor or another member of your team. Sometimes, talking things out for a minute or two is all it takes to get you back on the right path.
Staying organized can take some commitment, but changing up your routines and focusing on the end goal can keep you attentive and hard at work, even on the longest, busiest days.
What do you do to stay organized? Leave a comment and let us know!