Organization: a word that elicits much joy and much pain. It’s a relief when you have it and it’s stressful when you don’t, and everyone has an opinion on how to “do it right.”
One major theme in the books, articles, and blog posts about organization is decluttering. It’s out with the old and ditch the unuseful, and in with the new and keep the highly useful. When you start thinking about decluttering and organizing at work, it’s helpful to think about organizing three different spaces: physical space, mental space, and digital space. This article will point you toward a few ideas and resources that can help you to declutter and organize your worklife in all three areas and increase your productivity.
Remember: worklife organization is intensely personal, so there is no “right way” to do it. In order to be successful, you’ll likely have to try out a few ideas and tweak them to work best for you and your work environment.
Yep, the tried and true to-do list still reigns supreme to declutter and organize your worklife. According to a recent episode of the podcast Hidden Brain, to-do lists are actually responsible for saving lives too! But writing down a simple, column list is not always enough when projects start multiplying. I like to have a macro list of all my projects that I break out into daily to-do lists every morning. This helps create to-do lists that I can accomplish in one day.
I personally prefer analog to-do lists, but there are dozens upon dozens of to-do list apps. The Verge’s recent article The Best To-do List Right Now will help you learn more about to-do list apps. (FireFly’s co-founder, James Bennett, uses The Verge’s No. 1 recommendation — Todoist.)
Bullet journaling creatively helps my worklife organization exist in one place. I don’t keep track of my calendar or daily to-do lists in my journal, instead I write ideas, thoughts, research, and resources for each project; plus I keep them simply but well-indexed for easy reference. My pages often end up looking like little brainstorms that are easily fleshed out into full-fledged projects. There are many ways to personalize a bullet journal for high productivity, and you can learn more about how they work here.
As a costume designer and theater professor, my friend La may have up to four plays she’s in the process of designing while teaching several classes — that’s a lot of project management! To keep track of each class and show, she color codes all her physical and digital materials. This includes sticky notes, highlighters, pens, folders, and more. It even includes color coding each class in her grading and attendance apps.
If you’re tired of lifting up piles of paper on your desk to find the right piles of paper, it’s time to start thinking about a desk declutter. Of course you don’t have to go full minimalist for your desk. Some of the philosophies and tips Becoming Minimalist states in this article can help you figure out what will work best for you. Once you get in the habit, it may only take you 5 to 10 minutes a day to keep it tidy. Remember to include decluttering your computer desktop too!
Guided meditation via a mobile app is a great to help you focus energy on clearing specific mental blockers (AKA mental clutter) such as managing stress and workplace pressure, according to the Huffington Post. To help you find the right meditation app for you, check out this article from Healthline for a breakdown of the highest rated apps. I use and like Calm.
Team Building for Worklife Organization
When it’s time to declutter team stress and bring everyone closer together, organize a team building event! Contact us via our website at fireflyteamevents.com, phone at 877.267.1939, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.