career tips

5 habits of organized people

For some people, organization comes naturally. There is a place for everything and they keep everything in its place. For others, organization isn’t as important, and living with a degree of chaos is perfectly comfortable. While neither lifestyle is inherently better than the other, in a professional setting, being organized has distinct advantages. Fortunately, organization is as much a habit as it is a personality trait. According to a study by University College London, it takes about two months to establish new habits. In this guide, we are going to provide you with 5 habits you can adopt to become more organized in the workplace. 

Never touch something twice

According to Roger Flores Cruz, Assistant Manager of Order Processing at Thomson Reuters (and an organizational guru), “Organized and productive people never put anything in a holding pattern, because touching things twice is a huge time-waster. Don't save an e‑mail or a phone call to deal with later. As soon as something gets your attention, you should act on it, delegate it, or delete it.”

Eat a frog

"Eating a frog" is another expression favored by Roger Flores Cruz. According to Roger, “eating a frog” is the best antidote for procrastination: “ultra-productive people start each morning with this tasty treat. In other words, they do the least appetizing, most dreaded item on their to-do list first, before they do anything else. After that, they're freed up to tackle the stuff that excites and inspires them.”

Organize your environment

If you try to work at a messy desk, that messiness will seep into your work. It’s much easier to be organized in your work when you are in an organized workspace. Cleaning your physical environment, however, can easily become a procrastination tactic. The best way to maintain an organized working environment is to clean a little bit at the end of each work day. No one wants to start their morning by scrubbing out yesterday’s dirty coffee mug and having to sort through a stack of papers. Begin each day with a clean slate and you will be able to work more efficiently, and the results will be better. 

Don’t respond to emails as they arrive

For many of us, emails start flowing into our inboxes as soon as the day begins, and at a global company, the flow doesn’t stop. Natural curiosity may tempt us to check the subject line of new messages as they arrive, and it’s important to be responsive, but it’s just as important not to let every new email disrupt your work. Unless the email is marked as urgent, you can probably wrap up the task you’re working on before giving the email your attention. If it’s really important, the sender will likely call or instant message you. 

Plan your meals

It sounds silly but maintaining an organized eating schedule can help keep your day on track and your energy levels stable (and high). Giving advance thought to your meals lets you avoid unhealthy snacking that saps your energy and decreases your productivity. Taking an organized approach to eating, be it through meal prep, or simply by packing brain food to snack on instead of chips from the vending machine, can help supercharge your day. Eating on a consistent schedule will allow you to normalize your routine and will help you become familiar with your energy levels throughout the day. This lets you plan around less energetic periods and tackle the most challenging projects when you are most awake. 

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