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Getting Organized



Getting organized for optimal performance is not difficult and will result in your using your time more efficiently and reducing stress. Although it may take time to organize, the time you invest in cleaning and organizing your space will release much more time for you to accomplish your goals. An organized and clutter-free area is calming and allows you to focus.

Individuals who are organized operate around goals and have learned that being surrounded by clutter deters focus. Organized individuals arrange their belongings in their homes and work environments in a manner that reflects their goals.


Technology has made it easier to get organized with electronic devices. However, there are other common organization tools to use, including shredders, files, and desk space organizers. 


Keep your workspace clutter clean and clutter free. Take inventory of your workspace; if you don't need an item, remove it from your work area. If an item is necessary but not used often, store it out of the way. Keep only your frequently used work tools on your desk or workspace where they are easily accessible. Make a habit of returning items to their appropriate area immediately after use. Have a trash can near your workspace to discard of all trash - including paper items - immediately. However, be sure to shred confidential items.


One of the easiest ways to get organized is to use a calendar. There are many options, including computerized calendars, mobile calendars, and traditional paper calendars. Determine which type of calendar works best for your situation - you may even need multiple calendars. Once you have determined what works best for you, make a commitment to record all meetings, appointments, and important deadlines. Also be sure to utilize the tasks, to-do lists, and notes sections of your calendar (most calendars have these).


Maintain paper files properly in a file cabinet and keep files neatly arranged in clearly labeled file folders. Avoid miscellaneous piles and folders. Be consistent in your filing method, keeping routinely used files easily accessible. For efficiency and security purposes, keep electronic files organized and properly labeled, just as with paper files. Your computer desktop should contain only shortcuts to frequently used programs and files that you are currently working with. Routinely clean your computer desktop to ensure it is clutter free. 


Another way to stay organized and improve performance is to check and answer your phone messages and emails at specific times and intervals. Is is inefficient to stop what you are doing to return each phone message or email as it comes in. Of course, exceptions can be made for highly urgent calls or emails that do need immediate attention.


These are just a few ways to get organized. Do what works best for you, but getting and staying organized will increase performance and reduce stress.

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