10 easy tips that helped me to be efficient and organized at work and at home. They are small steps but have a huge impact on my work efficiency. I hope they affect your work also in a positive way.
1 Browser tab shortcuts
The first thing that I find easy, not only in my workflow but also at home is to have browser shortcuts ready. It makes it easy to go to pages that you regularly visit.
You also can make folder categories to store even more links that are useful for you.
- In internet explorer go to the 3 dots on the right top of your browser then go to Settings and touch the option “show favorites bar”. Also in other browsers you will find something similar.
When you’ve done that, it’s time to add some favorite links.
- Just go to a webpage that you regularly visit and want to store as one of your favorites. In Internet Explorer you will find a star icon on the right of you browser link. Hit that button and a window will appear, where you can click add to favorites bar.
You could even make a subcategory if you like.
I find these shortcuts very convient and it definitely helps me to be more efficient and organized at work and at home.
2 Mailbox categories and colors
The next tip to help you stay organized and efficient not only at your workspace, but also at home, is to use color categories in your mailbox.
You could give a name to each color category that you want. The categories “Need more info”, “Colleagues names”, “done”, …
I use these to get more overview in my mailbox. This system together with the next one using the mailbox
In my mailbox, I use the following categories:
- Orange, for “AT WAIT”, these are for emails that I can’t answer right away and that I need to ask somebody for the right answer or need to look up the right answer and it will take me more than 5 minutes work.
- Purple, for “COLLEAGUE”, these are for emails that I delegate the work to my colleague and I still need to do the follow up on that project.
- Green, for “Done”, these are for emails that are finished, but I haven’t moved to the right folder.
I also use others, but these are my main categories.
3 Mailbox folders
I always try to have a minimum of emails in my inbox, that’s why I use categories and mailbox folders.
When something is done, I mark it as done in the right category color and I swipe it to my folder “archive”.
There is no need to make a zillion folders because the index and search button works great in Outlook. I only make a folder, for important
Everything that’s not relevant I put in archive. If I need to find something, I just search all inboxes.
On the end of the day, I try to make my inbox empty. Each day I overlook my emails with the orange category that means “at wait” and also “colleague” so that I can see if still, work needs to be done.
I have 2 main folders in my inbox that is my @wait and @work mailbox.
I try to make everything in my inbox empty, but things that are ongoing or things to do I put in my @work folder with the according categories.
If I received a newsletter, or something to read when it’s not a busy time or on a free moment, I keep it at my @wait folder. These are not urgent and not effect the workflow.
The last method, I learned from the book David Allen “Getting Things Done”. These 2 folders helped me a lot in getting organized and efficient at work.
You use the @-sign in front of the folders name, so it will stay on top of your inbox. Or any symbol you would like. That’s because Windows will store your folders alphabetically and symbols come first.
4 The 5 m
I got this rule from David Allen from his book “Getting Things Done” and it works miracles for me. If you see a mail, or there is something or someone who needs your attention. If you think it will only take 5 minutes, do it right away. Don’t procrastinate on the little things, because it will become bulky at the end of the day.
5 Calendar: Time blocking
If I don’t put my stuff, my things to do in my calendar, I have much more chance to forget it. That’s why even for stupid tasks that I exactly don’t want to do, I block a dedicated time in my agenda. I don’t say I do it then all the time, but I’ve noticed when it’s set in my calendar, I’m more capable of executing this task.
My mind is set to execute this task. In 80% of the case, I do execute the task.
6 Folder with easy access
I have this map on paper and digital. I made myself a little map with phone numbers that I use a lot, important numbers, passwords that I need for my work.
Of course, I have my phone, but I don’t put every supplier contact on it. That’s why I use this folder.
I also use my tax number and my IBAN bank account number on hand, the same as my passport details and so on. These are items that are asked a lot.
I also store my color combo’s that I use for my websites and layout, my favorite fonts. Other details with the layout of my website and social media.
It’s easy to grab and easy to look up, if you need it.
A lot of my colleagues ask what is our tax number again? What’s the number or name of that supplier again? … I find in seconds in my map.
They are just stored Word documents with basic information.
Do you need more tips on how to be organized, you should check out my essential apps for on vacation.
7 Pomodoro timer technique
I have a little app with the Pomodoro technique. If you don’t know this technique I will explain it
You can change up a little bit of the frequency. Now I don’t use a kitchen timer, but an app for the same simulation. On days that I have difficulties to focus I use this Pomodoro
Just install an extension with the name Pomodoro, you will find lots of possibilities.
8 Write down what your doing the next day
At the end of each day at work, I use a scrap paper (or One Notes) and I note down,
At this moment, I also fill in some calendar blocking items in my agenda.
It will keep you a piece of mind, if you go home and when you get the next day back to work, you can start right away, with the big task that you have planned.
This helps me a lot to have an overview in my mind, to know what needs to be done. You could be very busy, but not having an overview is the worst.
9 Synchronized notes
Sometimes going home from work, I think of stuff that I need to take care of, so I put it in my notes on my cellphone and they are linked with my computer. So I can easily access them and don’t forget them.
Couple of times a week, I overlook those notes and I fill them in my calendar, to get the job done.
I use OneNote for synchronizing my notes. It makes your work my effective and organized.
Do you need more tips on how to stay organized, you should watch my Winter morning routine.
Don’t forget the last step, go outside or do some movements in your lunchbreaks or short breaks, because believe it or not, It will keep you focused longer, then when
So please take a walk to keep the work progress more efficient and organized. A fresh set of mind is key to work efficiently and organized.
Take a little break from the digital life and take a breath.
I hope you find these tips helpful and will give you some guidance in your work to be more efficient and organized. To have an overview most of the time. Do you have tips for me, that I can