10 Ways To Stay Organized At Work

Feeling Disorganized At Work? Here Are 10 Tips You Can Implement Today That Will Have You Back On Track In No Time

Work spaces can be complicated places to keep organized. Some are the size of a closet, or they are might even be large open spaces that leave little room for you.

If you are struggling with keeping your work area tidy and organized, here are ten tips that can help.

#1 Keep Your Workspace Clean

Clutter can be overwhelming, and there is evidence that lots of mess can take away your ability to focus. That is why we recommend that you make an effort to keep your desk and workspace as clean as possible.  

Let’s face it, a nicely organized desk (think of the ones you see on those pretty Instagram photos) just feels you with happy thoughts. Being on top of things is super motivating. If you want to perform at your optimal level at work, it is important to make sure that the space you work in is free of distractions, clutter, and junk.  

To help with the clean workspace, use desk organizers that will keep your sticky notes, planners, papers, and supplies neatly arranged and off of your desk as much as possible.  

Another thing you can do is be vigilant and mindful of when clutter is creeping into your workspace. That way, when you feel the messiness creeping in, you can have a plan of attack to clean up before things get out of hand.  

Keep only those things that speak to your heart. Then take the plunge and discard all the rest. By doing this, you can reset your life and embark on a new lifestyle

— Marie Kondō

#2 Do a Digital Detox  

From the moment we wake up, we are inundated with stimuli from our digital devices. If you are feeling disorganized, perhaps it's time to log off and detox.

A cluttered computer desktop and email inbox can seep into your physical life too, which is why it is a good idea to periodically clean up your digital space. If your computer desktop is littered with files or your pages are taking forever to load, it might be time to do a digital cleanup.  

But beyond cleaning up your computer, a true digital detox involves decluttering your life of digital distractions in all forms. For instance, do you find yourself distracted by your phone when out for dinner with your husband? Do constant notifications have your inside pocket buzzing day and night? Is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning is groggily reach for your phone? Then maybe, just maybe it’s time to do a bit of an assessment and find ways to cut down on screen time.  

Perhaps you can make a rule to hit that Do Not Disturb or Airplane Mode button in the evenings so you can have quality time with loved ones. Or maybe stick your phone in another room when you sleep at night so you get in some screen-free time (our recommendation? Pick up the Morning Refresh printable sheets to optimize your morning routine.) 

#3 Plan Your Workdays In Advance

You know we were going to tell you to plan ahead to stay organized, right? Let’s face it: planners get stuff done! If you are serious about slaying your day, a well thought out workday plan is essential.  

Some essentials of a great workday organizational plan include: 

  • Daily, Weekly, and Monthly organizers. You don’t have to go super far in advance, but knowing what needs to get done for the next few weeks can help you stay organized. 
  • A to-do list. Again, less is more. Don’t overwhelm yourself with a list of things every day. Just focus on 3-5 things max that need to get done each day, week, etc.  
  • Goal setting and tracking. Plans tied to goals resonate more than plans that aren’t really important to you.  
  • Progress Reports. Growth takes time and accountability. You should be tracking your progress with any new plans at least every 90 days (check out our Slay Your Day 90-day Progress Report for more info).

Do you find yourself reaching for the phone first thing in the morning? Perhaps it's time to leave the phone in the kitchen drawer overnight so you can enjoy your mornings offline.

#4 Schedule Breaks and Vacations To Avoid Burnout

One of the symptoms of a life out of balance is disorganization. To be clear, if you are just kind of messy person, that’s cool as long as it isn’t having an adverse impact on your life. However, if being disorganized is leading to issues in your professional and personal life, it is probably time to reassess some things and get to the bottom of the issue.  

Sometimes, chronic disorganization is a sign that you are overworked and on edge. The solution? It’s time for you to take a break. Whether it is a day trip with your besties or an extended vacation out of the country, taking time for rest and relaxation is a perfect way to hit reset on your life and re-prioritize.  

Can’t take time off from work? Then make sure that you are taking regular breaks during your work day. The Pomodoro method is one way to incorporate breaks into your task planning. You can also set a timer every 20 minutes or so to get up, stretch your legs and re-hydrate. Remember: you are your best self when you aren’t stressed and burned out.


Decluttering is infinitely easier when you thinkof it as deciding what to keep, rather than deciding what to throw away.

— Francine Jay

#5 Simplify Your Work Systems

Staying organized shouldn’t be super complicated. Create work systems with as little steps as possible so you don’t get overwhelmed with a bunch of decisions throughout the day. The cool thing about work systems is that the better they are, the more they can work on autopilot, which will free up your time to do more of the things you love. 

To create amazingly productive work systems, take about a week to assess your current work processes and procedures, writing down with as much detail as you can all of the steps you take to get a job done.  

Next, you want to look at the processes and find ways to eliminate or combine steps as possible so that the things you do each are as simplified as possible. That way, you can avoid being overwhelmed, which often leads to disorganization.  

Creating and optimizing your work systems allows you to free up time to do more of the things that bring you joy on the job.

#6 Have A Morning and Evening Routine

If you are having a hard time staying organized during the day, a big culprit could be your morning and/or evening routines. You see, how your start your day has a huge impact on how the day goes and how you end it impacts how you wake up. 

Make sure that your mornings incorporate time for you to refresh and get the day started in a positive way. You should also take time in the evening to reflect on how your day went and set intentions for tomorrow.


#7 Watch Your Self-Talk

Do you find yourself saying that you are “so messy” all of the time? That is like training your brain to think that messiness is your permanent state, which it isn’t. Speak positive things. Say that you are more organized each and every day, and watch your life change.  

There is so much power in what you tell yourself every day. Be kind and good to yourself on a regular basis and tie your actions to your life's purpose whenever you can. If there are things you want to improve, work hard to improve them, but don’t tell yourself that there isn’t hope or that things can’t change.  


Getting organized is a sign of self-respect.

— Gabrielle Bernstein

#8 Avoid Doing Big, Time-Consuming Projects All At Once

Another time-management method that we are big fans of is the chunking method. With this concept, you avoid multi-tasking like the plague (because that is totally what it is) and instead opt for breaking down huge tasks into chunks, with each chunk comprised of similar, specific tasks.  

By chunking your tasks, you are able to focus one task at a time, which is super helpful in project management. For instance, if you have a 20-page report due at the end of the week, you should write out all of the tasks associated with getting the report done (research, writing, editing, formatting, etc.) and then create chunks for each step in the process (1.5 hours for research only, breaking every 30 minutes, and so on).  

Chunking your tasks together for big projects is a great way to avoid being overwhelmed by a lot of work. Give it a try the next time you have to work on a lot of stuff.  


#9 Ask For Help When You Need It

Sometimes all of the planning in the world can make zero difference if what you need to stay organized is help from others. If you are finding it hard to stay organized at work, don’t be afraid to ask your coworkers or even your boss for assistance. Perhaps you need to start delegating more of the tasks that don’t require your input, or you might just need help getting projects done. Whatever it is, don’t be afraid to speak up and express how you are feeling.  

The best workplaces foster a sense of true teamwork. Remember that you are not alone. There are people who are willing and who really do want to help you succeed.  


Keeping your life organized matters, and you should find the time to do the things that matter most. If keep your life clutter free is important to you, make sure you schedule organizing time.

#10 Schedule Weekly Time To Organize

This last tip is probably the most practical one of all. If you want to stay organized during your work day, schedule in time every week to organize. Organization does not just happen on its own. Just like you have to make your bed, take out the garbage, cook your meals, etc., you should prioritize staying organized and on top of things.  

Start off slow and commit to scheduling five minutes this week to tidy up. From there, you can increase the time and frequency to a schedule that works for you. The point is to incorporate organizing into your work life. That way, you are less likely to have recurring bouts of being disorganized. 


Pulling It All Together

Looking for a way to begin organizing your work and life? Try El and Al’s Life Organizing Planner. It features a host of checklists, planning pages, and decluttering tools to help you stay organized at the office and at home. Pick it up today.  

And as always, make sure you are on the El and Al mailing list. We send out free monthly resources to subscribers.


Stay Organized Throughout Your Day

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