How to organize your day at work?
Have you ever felt that you could’ve done more work? Or maybe some important tasks were left untouched by the end of the day? How about the sensation of wasted time? If any of those situations feel familiar, it’s high time to do some organizing. In this text, we’ve collected some helpful tips on how to make your workday more efficient.
1. Morning habits
Getting up early is very important for an efficient day — it gives you more time to plan, manage and do your work properly. It also lets you get some morning exercises, which are a good way of delivering some extra oxygen to your body. Not to mention you’ll have time to eat a proper, healthy breakfast.
2. Be punctual
Arriving in your workplace on time isn’t just a daily habit — it helps to stay focused and gives more time to prepare for the day’s work. Not to mention leaving a good impression about you on your coworkers and employers.
3. Give yourself a breather
Getting to your workplace might build up some stress, so before you start your daily work, just sit for a while and take a few deep breaths. This will ease tension and help start your workday with a fresh head.
4. Pay some attention to your mood
Emotions can have a big impact on your whole day. This means the best way to be effective is to stay positive — you can’t do much if you’re brooding. You need to take control of your emotions and try to stay happy and positive throughout the day.
5. Keep your desk in check
The fewer things are on your desk, the better. Messy desks generate distractions and disrupt the flow of your workday. The same goes for your virtual desk — keep your computer desktop neat and clean.
6. Make a to-do list
Before you start working properly, you ought to prepare a list of tasks. Start with the most important ones — those need to be completed early. This will let you focus on them more and provide enough time to finish them properly. The easy and small ones should be left for later, as you won’t need much focus to complete them. Remember that your list can be digital — it’s more convenient and easier to navigate.
7. Check your mail
Checking your email before doing serious work should be a habit, as it can distract you later. While checking your inbox focus on the most important messages and reply only to the most urgent ones. It’s easy to lose yourself in checking your email constantly, so keep it to a bare minimum — no more than 3-4 check per day. The same goes for your voice mail.
8. Make all the important phone calls
Same as with replying to urgent emails, if you need to make an important phone call, do it as soon as you reach your workspace. If you postpone that, you won’t be able to fully focus on the tasks at hand (as there will be a constant reminder at the back of your head) and in the end, you might not even be able to contact that person later. If you have any questions regarding your work for the day sort them out as soon as possible — this will give you a clear idea about the tasks.
9. Proper plans for the day
A simple to-do list is helpful, but you’ll need proper planning to be really efficient and achieve goals with ease. A proper plan is also great for saving a lot of time. Make sure to include scheduled time for attending meetings (with both clients and your company officials) — this will give an idea of how much time you’ll have to do all the other tasks of importance.
Use time tracking software – like Timecamp to determine how long a single task takes. Thanks to this you will be able to better plan your working day in the future
10. Set a routine
A routine is great for keeping your day nice and organized. Setting one up will help you limit the amount of regular decisions and save time that could be wasted on pondering what to do next.
Read more: Why Having a Daily Routine Is Important?
11. Automatize repeating tasks
If you have any recurring tasks (e.g. weekly or monthly projects with the same structure), you can save a lot of time by using automation tools like pre-written ‘thank you’ email. Keeping it handy (e.g. by putting it on short-key) is a great time-saver if you need to send them to a lot of customers. Also, if social media is part of your job, you can find tools that will post for you. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel every time you need to get repeating tasks done.
12. Don’t waste time
Small talk is great for building bonds with your coworkers but it’s easy to fall into time-wasting gossip loops. It’s really easy to get involved but very hard to get back to productive work. So keep the unnecessary conversations out of your office hours. Same goes for social media — don’t use them if it’s not part of your job as they’re a productivity wasting trap.
13. Set timetables
Setting a fixed time period to accomplish a specific task is great for keeping your schedule running properly. It’ll also help you complete vital parts of a bigger project in shorter time periods. It might sound too easy to be true, but setting a timetable is a great boost to your workplace productivity.
14. Tackle the most complicated tasks first
It is widely believed that brain functions at its highest in the morning. This means that you’ll have a greater chance to solve your tasks more creatively in the first half of the morning. So the best way to take on the complicated task is to challenge it first thing in the morning.
15. Reward your hard work
Motivation is very important for efficient work. So it’s good to give yourself small rewards after accomplishing a hard task. Even something as small as a tea break can work wonders after an unpleasant meeting with a client.
16. Be ready for interruptions
Even though you have strict time tables for your day, you must always be prepared for unplanned interruptions. Keeping your schedule very tight (e.g. having 30 minutes to complete one task and only 5 minutes before starting another) can generate troubles as it doesn’t leave you any space to maneuver if something random happens. So don’t expect that everything will always go according to plan and include some downtime in it.
17. Don’t neglect breaks
Even on the busiest day, you need a break. Constant work generates a lot of stress and isn’t as effective as you might think. Your mind and body need some downtime every now and then. It’s best to spend your break outside your workplace, as it helps you unwind and tackle the problem later with new energy. Regular breaks are good for keeping your productivity high every day.
18. Avoid multitasking
It takes very long to regain your focus on the task at hand if you take your concentration away from it (according to a study by the University of California Irvine it’ll take over 23 minutes). So if want to be effective, set your mind on one task at a time.
19. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
If you feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of tasks for the day or can’t seem to comprehend something, it’ll be beneficial to ask for a helping hand from your colleagues. A new perspective might help you overcome obstacles that seemed impossible to get past and delegating some tasks will help complete everything in a timely manner.
20. Be realistic
Optimism is great but you should keep it in line at the workplace. Your plans must be realistic and you have to remember that it can be difficult to complete everything you’ve planned for a specific day. The same task will be probably left for the next day. Don’t panic, it’s a really common occurrence — one person can’t always complete every planned task, no matter the amount of effort given. Just try to plan the leftover tasks for tomorrow. This will help you stay tension-free.
21. Plan for the next day
When you complete all the tasks of the day, devote some time to make a to-do list for the next morning. This will help you stay organized and prepared for meeting your own expectations at work.
22. Make sure to put everything in its place
Remember to dedicate the last 15 minutes of your office hours to put everything back where it came from: file papers, things from other offices, trash or recyclables. This will allow keeping your workspace neat and clean for the next morning.
Organizing your work is the best way to keep your productivity high. Following the above points, especially those regarding planning, is vital to be efficient and successful at work. The first few days might be hard, but if you devote yourself to improving, the effects will come sooner than later. Always remember to let yourself decompress after work so you can stay happy and free of stress.
Senior SEO Specialist at KS Agency. Technical SEO enthusiast and a fan of history and fantasy books.