How to Organize Tasks at Work
If there’s one place we spend a lot of time away from our families, it’s at work. While there, employers have an expectation that you will be busy and get lots of things done. After all, that’s why they pay you. That may leave you wondering how to organize tasks at work.
Since 2020, how and where work gets done has changed. With many people leaving the office to do work at home, there are more distractions than ever — making it more important to figure out how to organize daily tasks at work.
We’ve put together some advice to help when asking how to organize your life when you are overwhelmed. Hopefully, some of these ideas will reduce your stress and increase your productivity.
How to Organize Tasks at Work
Every person is unique, so when it comes to wondering how to get organized at work when overwhelmed, not all of the following ideas will apply to you. To make sure you’re getting the most out of your day, incorporate the ones that feel right so that you can get your stuff done.
1. Create a Routine
Being spontaneous might seem like a more thrilling way to live life, but it’s not always conducive to getting work done. When learning how to organize tasks at work, it’s helpful if you establish a routine. This helps you form habits and create a structure so that your day runs more smoothly.
Your routine will be as unique as you are and fit into your life, but some things you might consider include:
- Get up at the same time every day
- Eat a healthy breakfast
- If you leave the house for work, leave at the same time every day
- If you work from home, plan to be in front of your computer at the same time every day
No matter what your routine looks like, stick to it every day so that you can attain your goals and get your work done.
Be Disciplined, but Stay Flexible
Sticking to a routine is beneficial, but you don’t want to be so rigid with your schedule that any deviation causes you stress. Life can change in an instant, and projects that were important at work can be dropped or lose their priority status.
Have a routine in place but be flexible enough that if something changes throughout the day, you can go with the flow and change your plan to get the new tasks done.
When it comes to your job, you want to let others know that you’re good at what you do and that you’re dependable and reliable. All of these are good qualities to have but don’t take on more than you can handle to prove your point. Learn to let things go and only volunteer to work on tasks that you actually have time for.
2. Prioritize by Making a List
When wondering how to organize tasks at work, it’s important that you prioritize your tasks. You will have jobs that are more important than others and some that are due sooner than others. By knowing which ones are due first and are the most important, that will ensure you are working on the right projects.
Creating a to-do list every day will ensure you are working on the top priorities. Spend a few minutes every morning thinking about what needs to be accomplished that day and put that item at the top of your list.
At the end of the day, come back to your list and cross off anything that was completed. This will ensure that when you get to work the next day, you’ll be able to prioritize the new tasks to get your stuff done.
3. Use Planners
In addition to making to-do lists every day, it’s also helpful to use a planner. This will help you keep track of when projects are due throughout the week and the month. Every morning when you are putting your list together, consult your planner to see which project has top priority so you know exactly what you should be working on.
A planner will not only help you at work, but it is also beneficial when you are wondering how to organize your life when you are overwhelmed. By including work and life tasks in your planner, you’ll be able to figure out how to structure your day to get as much done as possible.
Technology Can Help
When learning how to organize tasks at work, using paper planners is beneficial, as the act of writing things down helps you remember them. However, not everyone likes to use paper planners, and that’s okay.
If technology is your thing, you can use it to your advantage. There are many different apps available that can help you organize your time and keep track of tasks that need to be completed. Some options you might consider using include the following:
Google Calendar App
If you already have a Google account, then adding the calendar app is a breeze. The great thing about this option is that you can access your tasks from your computer or your phone, and you can set up notifications on both so that you don’t forget appointments or other important information.
If you use Office 365 for work, then Microsoft Planner might be for you. It uses boards to help you keep track of your projects, and you can even keep tabs on who is supposed to be working on what. You can access this information on a variety of different devices so that you can stay on top of deadlines.
While getting tasks done at work is essential, you also have a life to live. When it comes to organizing both, the Any.do app can help. Some of the features of this app include that you can create project roadmaps to help you get stuff done, and it can be accessed on a variety of devices, including your smartwatch.
Trello was designed with work specifically in mind, and it can help you organize your day, week, month, or quarter. If you work with teams, everyone can be on the same page when using this app. It also allows you to plan, assign and track how much progress has been made for each task.
4. Block Out Time During the Day
When asking how to get organized at work when overwhelmed, one thing you might try is blocking out time during the day to get certain tasks done.
For example, if you’re like most people, you get emails throughout the entire day, and you may feel obligated to reply to the messages you receive — but this can be a distraction from getting other tasks done. Instead of answering emails as they come in, set aside blocks of time throughout the day to read and respond to emails.
This might include taking 30 minutes first thing in the morning, as well as five minutes at the top of every hour. Depending on how many emails you get, you decide how often and how much time you spend in your inbox.
You can also block out time for other projects. If you have a report due by the end of the week, and it has a lot of parts and will take time, block out an hour each day to work on it. During that time, turn off all distractions. Put your phone on silent, turn off computer notifications and close your office door.
Setting a timer will keep you aware of the time. Once your block of time is up for that project, then move on to the next item on your list. Don’t try to say you’re just going to spend a few more minutes on what you’re doing, as this can turn into much longer and leave you stressed because you didn’t get to other tasks on your list.
Don’t Forget About Breaks
When learning how to organize tasks at work and blocking out time throughout the day, don’t forget to include some time for breaks. When wondering how to organize your life when you are overwhelmed, taking some time away from tasks will increase your productivity. You need some time away to stretch your body and mind, as well as focus on other things.
If you’re allowed time for lunch, make sure you take every minute. Take some 10-minute breaks throughout the day to check personal messages on your phone or get onto social media. No matter what, during your breaks, find a way to get away from work and do something you enjoy.
5. Stay Away from Multitasking
When tasks pile up and you’re asking how to organize daily tasks at work, you might be tempted to do more than one task at a time. It may feel like you’re getting a lot done when you multitask, but you’re actually getting less done.
This is because when you’re trying to do more than one task at a time, you aren’t focused on either one. Your attention is divided, so you aren’t putting your all into either project.
Instead, work on one task at a time so that you can truly focus on what you’re doing and give it your full attention.
6. Organize Your Desk
When learning how to organize tasks at work, you need to have an organized desk. Clutter can make it difficult to find the items you need to complete tasks, which can cause more stress. Getting rid of clutter and messes on your desk can help you stay focused, motivated, and productive.
Create a filing system that works for you. Use desk organizers and filing cabinets to keep papers neat and tidy. Make sure the most important items, the ones you need to complete projects, are easy to access and in line of sight.
Spend some time at the end of each day de-cluttering your desk. File away any paperwork that is no longer needed and remove any dirty dishes that might have collected on your desk during the day. Make sure the items you need to complete the next day’s tasks are easy to find and access so that you can get to work quickly the next day.
7. Ask for Help
You might be pretty amazing when it comes to getting things done, but don’t forget that you’re human; you can’t do it all. When it comes to organizing tasks at work, don’t be afraid to ask for help or delegate projects to other people. This can reduce a lot of your stress and allow you to focus on things that only you can take care of.
If you find yourself with a lot of tasks that need to be completed, it may be tempting to take them home with you. While this may be required at some point in your career, it shouldn’t be an everyday occurrence. Being productive at work means having a life outside of the office. This gives you a chance to recharge and refocus. When you can, always leave work at work.
Getting Stuff Done
As humans, we spend a lot of time at work, and we want to ensure that time is being used productively. If you find yourself wondering how to be more efficient and how to organize tasks at work, here are some things you can try:
- Create a Routine
- Prioritize by Making a List
- Use Planners
- Block Out Time During the Day
- Stay Away from Multitasking
- Organize Your Desk
- Ask for Help
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