E-mails, and Meetings, and Carpool – Oh My! Five Steps for Getting Organized

Keeping track of your work can be exhausting! Not to mention many working people also have families to take care of in the midst of the usual workday. So how does one keep their work life and home life in order? Here are five easy strategies I use to stay organized at work that can easily be applied at home for a less stressful day.

  1. Prepare for the day — when arriving at work, check your calendar and gather all the materials you will need for the day. I set aside each item I need for the day in the order I will need them, along with a pen and notepad. When it’s time for my meeting, I simply grab the corresponding materials which allows me to arrive on time and provides a quick refresher of the material beforehand. You can apply the same concept at home as well by placing any items you need to take with you the next morning by the door so you don’t forget them.
  2. Establish a routine — assess what time of the day you are most productive and tackle your hardest tasks during that time. Also, if you have weekly meetings, try to schedule them on the same day every week. When at home, keep a daily and/or weekly schedule. It will be harder to break this routine in the future, ensuring time is managed and every task is completed.
  3. Label your materials — Keep all binders labeled on the front and side. This ensures documents are stored in the intended binder and allows you to grab the correct item quickly. Also, keep tabs in binders to separate documents. Apply this to your files at home as well, and keep each category in separate, labeled folders. This will make it easy come tax time or when looking for a specific receipt.
  4. Make lists — I cannot stress this step enough! There is too much to remember day in and day out so I make a “to-do” list each morning at work that includes all tasks I want to accomplish by the end of the day. I feel victorious when I can check off an item as I complete it. Do the same thing when you get home by writing down a list of items you want to complete by bedtime; this is a great way to set daily goals and manage your time.
  5. De-clutter at the end of the day — just as you did at the beginning of the day, you should also get organized at the end of the day. Put files away, finish checking e-mails, and straighten up your desk. Take a look at your to-do list and ensure all items are checked off for the day. This allows you to focus on your home life at the end of the day without worrying about a forgotten task at work. When you get home, clean up, pack your lunch, and pick out your clothes for the next day to help give yourself enough time in the morning.

Life is hectic, but these five simple steps can help you become more organized in both your workplace and in your home life. You will hopefully start to feel in control and maybe even find you have more time to focus on the important things in life. Do you have any suggestions for simplifying and organizing your life? I’d love to hear them in the comments below!

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