How to Plan & Organize at Work

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Papers everywhere, empty coffee cups, memos coming in, and nothing going out, a typical day at work for most people. Lack of organization is to blame for this common scenario. Planning and organization are essential skills in the workplace. In today's busy world, effective time management is key in reaching your full potential. Follow these simple steps to better plan and organize your work, and watch your productivity level rise.

You can begin to organize your work space after you have cleaned off your desk. Create an in/out box. Keep only current projects on your desk; everything else should be filed away. If your desk is still cluttered, you may want to consider purchasing a small shelf to keep nearby.

Organize your files. First, you need to create a filing system. Next, categorize and organize the files, getting rid of anything that you no longer need.

Organize your computer files. It is easy to forget about old or unfinished files on computers and they can slow your system down. Delete any unused files and create a more efficient folder system.

Create a to-do list. You can use a computer program such as Microsoft Outlook, or a paper agenda depending on your preference. Try to plan tasks according to priority and complexity. Complete the most important tasks first. Keep a notebook with you when you are away from your desk to jot down new tasks. Add them to your list when you return to your desk.

Deal with paperwork as you receive it. File it, delegate it, or act on it immediately to avoid piles of paper accumulating on your desk.


Setting goals will help you get more accomplished. By breaking long-term goals into shorter-term goals, projects seem less overwhelming and easier to complete. Try a reward system for completing goals. When you complete five tasks, take a coffee break or surf the web and take an e-break.