Are you guilty of having a cluttered and disorganised workspace? Clutter has been shown to have negative effects on the mind and emotions.
Working from home is a blessing for many people, but when you work from home it's essential to stay organised. Not only will it help you be more productive and efficient, but it will also leave a positive impression on anyone who sees it. Moreover, it is important that you feel good in your own space!
In this blog post, we will discuss a few tips to help you get more organised and efficient while working from home.
Being Organised Is A Discipline
Think of a time you entered a cluttered office. Did you perceive that person as being a bit overwhelmed? Perhaps you subtly perceived them to be less in control, a little more flustered? When you left, did you feel a little better about not being in that space anymore?
A disorganised space can have negative effects on the mind and emotions. Before you even open your mouth, your workspace can leave an impression about your professionalism and can sway trust in you.
The quote “Power perceived is power achieved” rings true here. The way someone perceives you is incredibly important. Perception fosters trust. Some people will say, “I’m just not an organised person.” However, being organized isn’t a character trait at all. It’s a habit. It’s something you choose to do over and over again until you hardly think about doing it, just like brushing your teeth or showering regularly.
So how do you develop the habit of being organised? You practice it over and over until it’s second nature. It’s simple to say, but doing something routinely takes discipline.
Research has shown over and over that self-discipline is a key driver of many types of success. If you use your work ethic to compensate for not being organised, I invite you to consider what the end result of that is. Are you heading for burnout while you work twice as hard in a disorganised system? Are you risking someone on your team miscommunicating something, either internally or with a customer? What would that miscommunication cost you — not just in money, but in reputation?
Practical Steps To Get Organised
The key here is to fully organise your things. Don’t organise just part of your stuff. Get everything organised. A positive attitude and a good baseline will go a long way toward assisting you in achieving this goal.
1. Designate a specific area for work.
It can be easy to let your work life spill into other areas of your home, but it's important to have a dedicated workspace. This will help you stay focused and more productive. When you're done working for the day, you can close the door or leave the room and "shut off" work mode.
2. Every item should have a home.
When you know where everything is supposed to go, it's much easier to keep things organized. This goes for both physical and digital items. Keep only the essentials on your desk. Anything that you don't use regularly should be stored away. Create folders and labels for your digital files so you can easily find them when you need them.
3. Schedule your week.
Block off time for meetings, learning and research, key activities, exercising and any other priorities you have. This does not have to be set in stone. Your calendar can be dynamic, but set a weekly agenda — this will help you keep yourself accountable.
4. Simplify your action items and to-do lists.
Download your notes into one application — and don’t wait! Remember to strike when your brain is hot, meaning if you have something on your mind, get it down. You've probably experienced this, too - you have a lot of thoughts going through your head. I use a list app to keep track of my to-do lists and ideas. There are plenty of powerful tools that are simple to use. Whatever platform or tool you use, the key is to put ALL your ideas in the same place.
5. Organize your emails.
Have a system in place for managing your inbox. Use folders and labels to keep track of different types of emails. Set up folders for the different types of emails you get regularly. This will help you quickly find what you're looking for and keep your inbox clean. Archive the ones you don't need and delete the ones you'll never need. If you have emails that you need to take action on, create a task in your list app and link to the email. This way, you can keep your inbox clean and still have a way to reference the email later.
6. Manage your passwordcodes.
Find a single location to store your passcodes and passwords. Tools like 1Password or LastPass offer security features to keep your passwords safe but allow you to access them on many devices as you need them.
7. Practice staying organised.
Once you have your things in place, exercise that self-discipline by practising putting your things where they go. Practising organisation will take extra time at first. Things won’t move as quickly as they do when they are second nature — plan for that extra time. Your systems will likely change over time as your needs evolve. Periodically you may have to spend time rearranging things and cleaning up. That’s normal. Being organized is a practice, not a finish line. Keep at it.
Benefits Of Being Organised
Think of being organised as an investment. Being more organised while working from home you are investing in a more efficient way of working. Eliminating wasted time in your day. You will be able to get your work done in a more timely and efficient manner. That extra time can be used for taking on new projects, networking, or enjoying a work-life balance.
Overall a well-organised workspace will have you feeling less overwhelmed, frustrated and feeling good about your work area. No one likes working in a cluttered, messy environment.
How do you stay organised while working from home? Let us know in the comments below.