Initially trying to get organized can often seem like an unnecessary and stressful task – a whole lot of moving things around, labelling, and other monotonous tasks that don’t achieve much. It’s only ever a few months down the line where we start to realise that, just maybe, getting organized from the beginning would have been more useful.
But why exactly is it useful? What makes organization such a vital part of both our personal lives and our professional environments?
The Benefits of Organization
Humans are purpose built for pattern association – it is hardwired into our brains through evolution to be organized. It helps us focus, identify information quicker, and generally makes us happy. Having things fit into our pattern recognition system is good for our minds, and this applies to art, business, and our home life.
Because of this, messy, disorganized systems either in the workplace or at home tend to stress us out just by their very nature of being disorganised. That is not to mention any stress caused by the hassle of trying to find specific information in a disorganized system.
Just having an aesthetic environment is scientifically proven to have mental and even physical health benefits, and the same is true for the organization of information and objects. Mess and disorganisation negatively affect our mental health, whether it be the clothes lying around in your room or the filing system at work.
Although it might not seem like it, organization saves time and money – and a lot of it. In your personal life, keeping organized with what you own will insure you don’t end up buying things you already have. Keeping your grocery shopping organized will save you money and time with one big shop, for example, rather than lots of smaller trips. And of course, keeping your finances and important documents filed effectively and clearly will save you endless amounts of stress down the road.
For businesses and the workplace, keeping everything organized is even more important. The larger the business, the more important it is to have everything coordinated and managed effectively. While organization is still important on a personal level, it is vital when collaborating with others, which is essentially what all businesses are.
The first benefit is access to information. Whether it is online, paper-based, or a mix of both, ensuring your company records are stored clearly and simply will save endless amounts of time for both yourself and everyone else working at the business.
By having efficiently kept records and filing systems for every aspect of your business, you will not only save time (and time is money), but you will also increase collaboration and harmony between both individuals and departments, helping your business run smoothly and effectively.
Having good organization also aids in communication. It’s much easier to point someone to the right information if you can accurately describe where it is. One of the most overlooked benefits of organization is optimisation. By having your workplace organized at every level, you can avoid confusion and ensure every employee knows exactly what their role is in the company.
How To Be Organised
Depending on the situation, there are many different ways to become, and remain, organized. Moreover, there are also some general rules that can be applied to anywhere in your life that will help you in your organisation.
The first rule is to write things down! Checklists, spreadsheets, and lists are your best friends for keeping organised in any situation. Whether it’s keeping track of passwords, financial transactions, or simply writing the shopping list, writing things down either physically or digitally is the first big step to staying organised.
The second and arguably the most vital rule for staying organized is to stay on top of things. A core aspect of this is avoiding procrastination. Leaving things until later is the first step on the road to disorganisation.
Constantly decluttering, whether it be objects in your house or work files on your computer, making a habit of staying organized is much easier. Furthermore, it is much more effective than a large clean-up every few months.
Know when to get rid. Although possible, it is extremely difficult to remain organised with a mountain of junk piling up. Some people have no trouble binning and discarding things they don’t need, but if you find it difficult it is important to think about what computer files, paper documents, or other objects are actually needed. If something is basically just scrap, dispose of it.
Rules for Work
Labels! When in an environment where large numbers of other people will be accessing the same information or products, labelling things is key. For the digital world this is fairly simple: make sure your folders and files are clearly labelled and organised, ensuring that key information can be quickly and easily found by anyone in the company.
When it comes to the physical world and actual products, your best bet is all-purpose asset tags. These tags will make business life so much easier, so long as you use them correctly. The best way to apply all-purpose asset tags is to have a clear company system for labelling and tagging produce that any employee can easily understand and manage. Dates, identification codes or other essential information can all be applied directly to a product this way, helping everything operate smoothly and efficiently.
A large part of good organisation is time management. Managing and organizing your time efficiently is a fundamental step in organizing your life. Setting clear deadlines for projects, as well as allocating time for specific tasks is a great idea. It is also important to specifically schedule in downtime and overtime.
A mistake people often make when first getting organised is overfilling their schedule. Things will inevitably run over or take longer than expected, and having no time pencilled in to deal with this can often cause more stress than not being organised in the first place.
Along with deadlines, there are lots of small ways you can make sure you save time around the office. For most communication, a verbal discussion either face-to-face or over the phone is much more efficient for relaying information than an email or text. Unless you have a really specific question, verbal communication is almost always quicker in the long-term.
As well as this, scheduling meetings to end sooner will likely give you extra time in your day. Most meetings and conferences are filled with unnecessary waffle, and keeping meetings brief from the get-go will encourage you and everyone else to get straight to the point.
There are many ways to get and stay organised and following some of the tips and guides laid out here is almost guaranteed to help you out at work and at home. All we have in the end is our time and staying organised will help you spend yours effectively and consciously.