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Tips to Take You From Mess to Master

Do you feel like your work organization is a mess of lost information and undefined expectations, spiraling slowly but surely out of control?

If so, you’re not alone. Most office workers feel like their work organization is not where it should be. Unfortunately, this lack of organization has real consequences for both them and their employers. Fortunately, research makes it clear that small changes in how we approach our work organization can go a long way to restoring order, whether it’s honing your mind and removing mental clutter or establishing processes that turn your team into a multi-tool of precision.

Here are 30 tips to take you from work organization mess to work organization master:

Organize Your Brain

1. Breathe

work organization tips

Everest College’s 2013 Work Stress Survey found that 83% of office workers feel stressed out at work. A Workfront survey found that 51% of marketers attributed their work stress to trying to juggle their work in its myriad forms.

work organization tips

Before you can organize your tasks, however, experts say you must first organize your thoughts. We’re not saying that you should start every morning with transcendental meditation, but you can try this simple breathing exercise to get clear and start fresh.

2. Eat brain foods

work organization tips
Your ability to organize is only as good as the fuel you put into your brain. You can’t think clearly through the day’s challenges without the right diet and this starts with the first meal of the day. For breakfast, try eating whole grains, blueberries, tomatoes, and nuts to give yourself a scientifically-proven brain boost before you tackle your work.

3. Start with just one goal

work organization tips
You read that right. One. We’ve all had the importance of setting goals pounded into us since the start of our careers. But most people fall short not in goal setting, but in reaching goals. Why? Because we try to do all of them at once.

Gary Keller and Jay Papasan, authors of The One Thing, suggest that we pick one thing to do that year—launch a new website, for example—then break that down into one thing to reach that goal for that month, that week, that day, and that hour. If we pick the most critical thing to get done and do it in that hour, it leads to the larger goals being accomplished over time. It’s compartmentalized success!

Of course, the more complex your organization becomes, the harder it becomes to choose just one goal. The answer to this problem is forcing leaders to name their top strategic goals. This will allow you and your team to narrow down your goals from the 25 or more that tend to float around larger organization and focus on three or four.

4. Focus in bursts

Once you have your brain cleared out and your daily goals set, it’s time to work. But what about all the distractions? “Your day is your week is your month is your year,” says Chris Brogan, speaker and CEO of Owner Media Group. His tip is that picking one topic and staying on it for just 20 minutes will help you establish a pattern of focus and leads to getting more done over time.

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