Do you need a helping hand to be more organised at work?

3 ways to be more organised at work

The World Health Organization describes a “healthy job” as one where everything is suitably balanced. As such, the demands placed on employees are “appropriate in relation to their abilities”, the resources they have access to, how much freedom they have over managing their work and the support they receive.

Unfortunately, that picture is a reality not enjoyed by many people, irrespective of their vocation. Workplace stress is manifest, with the Health and Safety Executive reporting that in 2011/12, 428,000 people in the UK felt so burdened by work that it made them ill.

There are several reasons why work induces stress. This includes feeling intimidated by management and/or colleagues, experiencing a lack of support from the same cohort of individuals, being unable to cope with the demands of the job and lacking the time or ability to keep organised.

The latter is the focus of this piece, the first in a number looking into this highly important area of work. Organisation, though a key and core skill in any enterprise, often stipulated in job descriptions, is something of a bugbear for employers and employees alike. It’s not cost-effective, it slows things down and it’s demoralising. In short, it pays to be organised. Here’s how.

Declutter your desk

Make your workspace homely but efficient. Clutter creates “visual noise”, which can be just as counterproductive as it is distracting. While personal touches are welcome, endeavour to keep them to a minimum. You have to appreciate that you are at work and need to be focused.

Be ruthless when getting rid of things. Ask, for example, whether the pile of paper gathering dust has any real purpose and whether the plethora of stationery is decorative as opposed to functional.

Digitise your documents

Work begets work, paper produces more paper and so on and so on. Yet, a lot of this is - or becomes - superfluous. Research suggests that as much as 80 per cent of documents that is filed is never accessed again. It’s a huge number.

Even then, organisations will be keen to hold onto information, “just in case”. That’s fair enough but ask yourself do you need the paper equivalent? The likelihood is no and, moreover, there are better, more productive solutions - digitising your archive makes information easier to find and safer too.

Be an active planner

Because people can get so busy at work - and consistently so with no apparent relent - planning can sometimes go by the wayside. In fact, it can never materialise, with workers feeling so snowed under they can’t dedicate the time needed to get everything in order.

While it will be difficult at first, getting into the habit of regularly of planning your workload will do you well in the long-term. You may feel like the time spent planning is taking you away from your work, but it’s time well spent - you’ll save hours, days even.

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