There comes a time when even the most unorganised person needs to get organised. The start for some is high-school, college or university, but for others, that time comes later when they get a placement; when it is vital for their success in the workplace. If you happen to be part of the latter group, don’t sweat it. This blog post is just the thing you need to get yourself more organised at work.
Take care of your workspace
Often interns’ desks will be cluttered with many different things. Don’t underestimate how much time is lost from having an inefficient working environment. Feeling like your productivity is low; perhaps your workspace is letting you down. Here are some quick fixes:
- Declutter ruthlessly – keep everything to the bare essential, remove anything that doesn’t serve a direct function. Of course, do keep some personal items so it feels cosier, like the framed photo of your cat or that pot with the poor dying plant in it.
- Location is key – Keep all of your daily work materials in places which are within your immediate reach. Put some logic into it, for example keep your copy paper near the printer. Always return each item to its rightful place so when you need to use it once more, you know where to find it.
- Desktop order – Minimise desktop chaos by using trays, magazine files or anything else your heart desires. Also do your best to label things such as ‘Current Projects’, ‘Urgent’, ‘Waiting for’ etc. This way you would direct your workflow in a methodical, productive manner.
- Filing – Be brutally honest about what you need to keep. Most things we file are never accessed again. Ask yourself: why would I need this in future? Is it information I could obtain online or otherwise? Put any documents you do keep in good-quality folders with clear labels.
Failing to plan is planning to fail. Choose to spare a few moments to plan, rather than waste several unexpected hours in execution. Regular planning will sharpen your focus, therefore, making you less likely to lose track.
- Plan daily – Make a plan for tomorrow the day before. Leave yourself some 10-15 minutes at the end of each workday to wrap up loose ends and prioritise key tasks. A good plan today ensures a smoother and easier start of the following day.
- Weekly checks – Allow yourself some time each week for larger scale planning and reviews. Use that time to track your progress, research and then strategise. Select a specific time in the day when you feel at your best. Often this is the time when you would come up with new ideas, solutions, and experience breakthroughs that may open new opportunities.
The first steps of getting organised are easy. How many times have most of us started off Monday with the determination of being more organised and then by the end of the week we are back to the mess we had in the beginning? Yeah, the actual hard part is sticking with it. Creating these new habits requires ongoing effort. What is important it is to remain focused on the benefits and how much easier and pleasant your daily work life will become. Spare a few moments each day to restore order to your workspace. Implement without fail your daily planning. Keep in mind, circumstances and priorities may change. However, you must not despair, simply review and revise, and then keep moving forward.