Efficiency is a prized quality. After all, time is money – and the greater your efficiency, the more income you’ll likely rake in. However, between overseeing projects, completing daily tasks, and managing ongoing responsibilities, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and fall behind.
While it may seem unrelated, knowing how to stay organized can positively impact your efficiency, and help you stay on top of work. Plus, organization can benefit your mental health and creativity, enabling you to stay more engaged and productive too.
In this article, we’ll discuss the differences between organization and efficiency, and how they can work together. Then we’ll provide some tips on how to get organized and create a more efficient work environment. Let’s get to it!
Understanding Organization and Efficiency and How They Work Together
Being organized is all about dealing with situations and tasks in a systematic way. Often this means ordering physical items such as files or other supplies. However, it can also refer to completing tasks procedurally, one step at a time.
Efficiency, on the other hand, is the practice of completing tasks in a way that minimizes wasted time and effort. It’s very similar to productivity, as it focuses on the relationship between what you put into creating a product or delivering a service, and what you receive for it.
Though they are technically different concepts, organization and efficiency work closely with one another. Essentially, efficiency is usually the goal of organization, and organization is the means by which efficiency is often achieved.
Systems have a tendency to make tasks more streamlined, decreasing the amount of time and effort required to complete them. This opens up opportunities to take on more clients or responsibilities, and can even save your business money.
How to Stay Organized and Increase Your Efficiency (5 Tips)
Because there are many ways to get organized, knowing where to start can be difficult. The tips below can help point you in the right direction.
1. Use a Calendar to Stay on Schedule
When managing multiple projects or assignments, staying on top of deadlines is essential. A missed deadline could mean you don’t get paid for your work or even result in a lost client.
A simple way to keep your deadlines prominent and visible so you don’t forget about them is by using a dedicated calendar app. Being able to see when assignments are due can also help you manage your workload by prioritizing upcoming deadlines.
There are several excellent digital calendar tools. Google Calendar, Apple Calendar, and Microsoft Outlook are some of the most common, and what’s more, Google Calendar and Apple Calendar are both free.
Other calendars have additional features you might want to use for even more organization. Fantastical 2 enables you to coordinate multiple calendars, schedule meetings with coworkers, and even factor in travel time to appointments.
Finally, Jorte is a calendar that prides itself on flexibility and ease of customization. You can add diary entries, pictures, task lists, and event calendars to increase Jorte’s functionality.
All in all, there are plenty of simple to use and cost-effective options to choose from – perfect for a ‘quick win’ when it comes to organization!
2. Create a File Organization System
If you’ve ever spent more than a couple minutes searching for a file, you probably need a better system for organizing your documents. Whether they’re digital or paper, your files should be easily accessible.
An organized system can also help prevent losing your files too – a potentially costly mistake. It goes without saying that you don’t want to find yourself unable to complete an assignment, or get in trouble for losing vital documents or records.
To create your organization system, start with devising consistent file names. This could include titles, dates, or other unique information. Then save your files in clearly labeled folders, and structure those folders in logical hierarchies.
Ideally, this system will be clear to anyone who looks at it, so that if someone else needs to access your files they can find what they need quickly. You should consider having someone give you a second opinion on your system, as a fresh pair of eyes can help you make improvements.
Also, every month or so, take time to go through your files and delete or destroy any you no longer need. This will prevent clutter, and free up storage space for digital files. Of course, if you’re working with digital files, you may be able to palm off files to portable storage, or simply upgrade the space available in your cloud solution.
3. Employ Project Boards to Prevent Time-Consuming Mistakes
Surveys have shown that project management tools like project boards can increase client communication, project quality, the number of projects finished on time and on budget, and customer satisfaction. They also have features that can up your organization game, and therefore your efficiency.
Of course, managing client expectations can be tricky. The last thing you want is to deliver a project that doesn’t meet a client’s requirements and jeopardize your working relationship. However, using a project board to track how well you’re meeting your client’s requirements can improve satisfaction across the board.
When you have clearly defined goals, large-scale assignments can feel easier to manage. Project boards can help in this area too, providing a space where you can write down your goals and individual tasks you need to complete.
Finally, project boards can store your ideas and important details you don’t want to overlook. You won’t have to worry about forgetting things you want to add or placeholders you need to fill in, avoiding embarrassing mistakes you must correct after turning in an assignment.
Online project boards like Trello, Basecamp, SmartDay, or Atarim (if you are into web design and development space) have several organizational features for creating and managing project boards. You can also use these platforms to maintain calendars and communicate with team members, supervisors, or clients.
4. Implement a Reliable Website Management Tool
Managing just one website can be time-consuming, but multiple websites can be a real challenge. Not only are you more likely to miss an update or overlook a security issue, you’ll also have to find the time during your busy day to check on each and every site you run.
If managing websites is one of your day-to-day responsibilities, consider implementing a reliable tool to help organize your sites and stay on top of maintaining them. Not only will you save time on updates and security, you’ll also be able to rest easy knowing your sites are secure and in great shape.
If you’re unfamiliar with website management platforms, they can automate certain tasks such as updates and security scans. Some also automate backups and provide analytics and performance tests that can help you keep your sites running optimally.
At ManageWP, we offer all of these features to our customers. We also have the benefit of being designed to manage multiple sites from a single account, which will save you the time it takes to switch between accounts to maintain all your sites.
5. Declutter Your Physical Workspace
Decluttering your workspace has many benefits similar to those we’ve already discussed, like making it easier to quickly find things you need. However, tidying up your physical space also benefits your general wellbeing.
Working in an ordered environment has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety. Not only is this good for your mental health, it can also improve your performance at work by decreasing your level of distraction and enabling you to be more focused.
Additionally, decluttering can relax your mind and help you reach some creative insights if you’re feeling stuck. Decluttering often involves moving around as you rearrange and get rid of things, which can provide a nice break from sitting in front of a screen all day.
If you’re looking to declutter your workspace, start by determining what things you really need at your desk. Items you use daily and want within easy reach should get priority. While family photos and knick-knacks might seem like essentials, you’d probably be better off without them taking up desk space.
However, the ‘homely’ items you have and tools that only see occasional use don’t have to go in the trash. Using creative storage options (such as filing cabinets, desktop organizers, and wall shelves) can keep these things nearby without letting them take over your workspace. It’s simple, yet effective!
Getting yourself organized could require some time and effort. However, working in an uncluttered space (and using a few choice tools) to complete tasks more efficiently can have a significant positive impact on your work. You’ll be able to spend less time searching for files and fixing mistakes, and more time on business-related matters.
This post has looked at five tips to create a more organized workspace and a more efficient workday. Let’s recap them:
- Use a calendar to stay on schedule.
- Create a file organization system.
- Employ project boards to prevent time-consuming mistakes.
- Implement a reliable website management tool.
- Declutter your physical workspace.
Do you have any questions about how to stay organized and increase your efficiency? Leave them in the comments section below!
Featured Image Credit: Pixabay.
Knowing how to stay organized can help increase your work efficiency, saving you time, money, and effort. In this article, we’ll discuss the differences between organization and efficiency, and how they can work together. Then we’ll provide some tips on how to get organized and create a more efficient work environment!