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  • Dr. Jennifer Wild

Staying Organized at Work


I have found that many times an employee’s motivation, productivity and general state of mind is influenced by their ability, or lack thereof, to be organized. Below are a few hints (adapted by Raven Ishak, 2015) to help you get and stay organized.


1. Don’t Multitask: Multitasking seems like a great way to get a lot done at once. Research shows that our brains are very not good at handling multiple tasks. Some researchers suggest that multitasking can actually reduce productivity by as much as 40%. Switching from one task to another makes it difficult to tune out distractions and can cause mental blocks that slow you down. (Cherry, 2019). Plan your day so you don’t complete two tasks at once. If you are arguing this point, and say you just can’t plan your day, therein lies the problem.


2. Take Breaks: Breaks can replenish you by help you reflect on what you have accomplished, improve your work performance, and increase your energy. Throughout the day, stop working to move physically and refresh. Short (repeat SHORT) breaks during the workday can actually boost mental resources such as attention and ensuring good performance. (Levitan, the organized mind, 2016)


3. Develop a Strategy: It doesn’t matter if it is a calendar on your phone, a google calendar, or pen and paper, but planning helps you avoid over booking, under booking, and helps you remember what to accomplish and when something is due. A planner is the perfect place to track your accomplishments. "It doesn't matter if you're on the right track, if you just stand there, you'll still get run over.”—Mark Twain


4. Write Things Down: When we take notes, we create spatial relations between the various bits of information we are recording which seems to filter out the less relevant or important information. That is why “note-taking” is an important skill for our students to learn. Creating a list of all the things that need to be done and then ordering them in priority helps you to make sure that you achieve what you plan to achieve and can help prevent you from procrastinating. On center, you may want to do this at the end of each day in preparation for the next day since often things hit you as soon as you walk in the door.


5. Turn off Notifications on Phone and Computer: Dings and rings and buzzes and songs are distractions and keep you unfocused. If you have something important to accomplish in a short amount of time, put the phone away, even for an hour at a time, and leave a message in your email for who to contact in case of an emergency.


6. Keep a Neat Work Area: Research has proven that a cluttered work area does not undermine productivity and motivation; however, it can it prevent you from the focus you need to get the tasks accomplished. In our line of business, it is always best to model the way we want an employer to view our students’ behavior at work and keep a neat work are

7. Don’t Strive to be Perfect: Strive to get the job done in an effective, efficient, and quality manner. There are nine reasons perfectionism Is a bad thing. (Lambardo, 2017)


1. You are never done.

2. You are stressed and discontent.

3. You don’t take risks.

4. Your creativity is suffocated.

5. You strive to keep everyone happy.

6. You’re highly critical of others.

7. You can’t delegate.

8. You personalize everything.

9. You never rest.


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