Organization needs to happen inside and out in order to keep your work life as balanced as it should be. So, clear your mind and your desk. These tricks will keep you operating at full capacity, we promise:
1. Clutter will cripple you
Even if you're not a neat freak, clutter on your desk is doing nothing but weighing you down. How on earth is your mind supposed to focus on that Excel spreadsheet when you have old Starbucks cups, post its from 4 months ago and papers from last quarter strewn all over your desk like an episode of Hoarders? Answer: it can't. Even if you "don't mind" when things are messy, keep your work space tidy and your desk clean.
2. Keep a calendar
You're probably telling yourself you don't need to keep a calendar because you have a great memory. Well, unless you're Rainman, you still need to keep a calendar. Call it old school, but having an actual planner where you can physically write things down is your best bet. If you insist on keeping it electronically, just keep all your work and personal engagements on one calendar. People always perform best when they know what they have ahead of them.
3. Stay hydrated and full
As trivial as this may seem, your brain quite literally cannot function if you're thirsty or hungry. Give it the fuel it needs to perform well. Chug as many fluids as you can and always have snacks on hand that will keep you full for a long time. Also, staying hydrated is really good for your skin, so you're basically multitasking. You also may not realise it, but when you're hungry it's not only hard to focus, it's also hard to stay in a good mood. Happy and efficient people are hydrated and full.
4. Take breaks
Twist my arm! No, but seriously, giving your mind a break is crucial in order to be constructive with your work time. Give your poor eyes and head a rest and step away from your desk a couple times a day. Go get coffee with a friend or just cruise around the block. Fresh eyes are always better than tired, haggard, fatigued eyes. Always.
You may not have noticed as you make your way through this list, but lists are great for organising things! It's scary easy for things to fall through the cracks or to have a lot of tasks seem overwhelming because they are running through your head like crazy. Write them down. And when you complete a task you've put on your list, no matter how small, check it off. Believe me, during a long work day, checking off that task will feel better than gazing at Chris Pratt's abs. But staring at Chris Pratt's bod is also pretty effing great, so enjoy:
6. Separate business and pleasure
If you work from home or have a work phone you need to keep that separate from your space you use to relax. Don't work at the same table where you eat dinner or watch TV. Work space and fun space cannot be in the same locale. Have a work phone? Don't sleep with it on your bedside table. Your mind is never going to be at rest. Compartmentalize, people.
7. Work it out
Endorphins make you happy, happy people aren't overwhelmed at work. Seriously though, exercise gives you a chance to clear your head, gets your endorphins flowing and makes you feel physically better. You feel like you can conquer the world after sweating it out, those pesky little expense reports will seem like child's play after a gym sesh.
8. Set mini-goals
A wise girl once said "set the bar low, and jump over it." And it's so true. Sure when you have 20 things to do in a day it looks super overwhelming, but if you tell yourself you need to get these three things done by 11am? Then it's not so bad. When it doubt, break it down until it doesn't feel overwhelming, give yourself a little pat on the back for every goal you reach.
Not all tasks were created equal. When you are figuring out what needs to be done, determine what NEEDS to be done and which tasks "need" to be done. Odds are not everything on your to-do list is urgent. Unless you're the Prime Minister.
10. When all else fails, take a beat
Even if you do all of the above, sometimes there are days that it feels utterly impossible to have it all under control. When all else fails, take a beat. Before you feel the tears welling up and the knot forming in your throat, take a walk around the block, check your Insta, call your parents and catch up and then get back in there and crush it. Do not do this:
You have some more tips for keeping yourself organized at work? Tweet at us @sofeminineUK!
This article was written by Dagney Pruner. Follow her on Twitter @dagneyp