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Six Tips for Being More Organized and Prepared at Work

I have been teaching for 5 years now and have been a forgetful person since I was a child.

Monica from the show F.R.I.E.N.D.S.

Monica from the show F.R.I.E.N.D.S.

My coworkers and friends say I'm the most organized and structured person they know. I haven't always lived this kind of life though. In fact, the main reason I'm organized and structured today is because of how forgetful I can be.

I always have a lot on my mind, and I think that's one of the main reasons I forget things so quickly. When I first started to live on my own away from my parents, I decided to stop making excuses and make a change for myself. This change in my life has not only made me less forgetful but has also helped me succeed in my career today.

1. Utilize a Calendar or Planner

I live off of my iCalendar. This is a feature for Macbooks and iPhones; however, you can use Google Calendar if you don't have these devices. I love my calendar because it not only syncs up with my laptop but also with my smartphone. I can type in the time that the event starts, and a notification will pop up on my smartphone a few days before leading up to it. I can also put a description of what I need to bring to that event and where the location is. My favorite part of my digital calendar is that I can organize my events by having different colors for specific events.

Keep in mind that if you use a planner book, you have to get in the routine of checking it every single day. I knew that I wouldn't do this, which is why I made the choice of a digital way to plan. Having a digital way of planning allows me to be able to pull up my availability anytime and anywhere.

2. Set an Alarm

Setting an alarm on your phone can be easy and helpful too for small things. Sometimes I may have a brief meeting to go to early in the morning for work. Once the meeting is announced in advance, I know I'll forget about it if I don't have a way for me to remember. I'll immediately set an alarm on my phone for 5 minutes before the meeting starts for that specific day, and I will label it as "meeting."

I find this to be very helpful because sometimes a notification isn't enough. This is especially true if you have a busy job where you don't have the time to check your phone throughout the day. I love it how my alarm will continue to go off in my purse until I shut it off. It forces me to stop the work that I am doing, see the reminder, and make it to my meeting on time.

3. Create Virtual Sticky Notes with Google Keep

Sticking a sticky note to the top of my computer screen at work is another way I remind myself of upcoming events. Having a job where I am constantly busy and walking around though, I don't always have the time to write on a sticky note when I need to. I use the digital sticky notes, known as Google Keep, when I have a long list of things to do. You can check them off and set reminders on them. You can share the digital sticky notes with anyone you would like, so they can edit and cross things off with you. This is great when you are working on a team project with a co-worker. It's a great source of communication.

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Not only can you access it on your computer, but you can also access it on an app on your smartphone. The best feature is the location feature. You can put a reminder on the sticky note in Google Keep, and set the location for your work address. As soon as a pull up to the address, a reminder will go off on your smartphone.

4. Create a Google Drive

This is a filing system that I love for digital copies. Google Drive allows you to access your files anywhere on any computer. You can even access your files from your smartphone through the Google Drive app. The convenience of this tool has helped me tremendously, especially when I'm on the go and I don't have my computer on me.

5. Use Folders and Label Them

Organizing your papers into folders is another great way to keep organized. Depending on the type of job you have, your work may require a lot of papers or copies that you need to hang on to. If you put them all in one pile in one place, they will easily get lost. Get some standard folders, manilla folders, or both and label them in a way that will help you keep track of your paperwork. Having specific papers and copies in specific places will cause you less of a headache in the long run.

6. Use a Binder With Multiple Binder Tabs

This is another way to organize all of our paperwork if you don't want folders everywhere. However, you may not be able to put important paperwork in there because you would have to hole punch it. I recommend getting tabs for each category that your papers fall under. If you don't want to go out and buy tabs, you can always create your own. I have done it myself, but it does take a lot of time to do, and they were very flimsy as it was made from construction paper.

Make the Change

Don't let your forgetfulness or your clutter lower your performance at work. If you see it as a problem, it's up to you to make that change. Set goals for yourself, and incorporate organization slowly into your work life until it becomes second nature. People will take notice, and you'll be more successful in your career.

© 2019 Jackie Zelko


Jackie Zelko (author) on July 24, 2019:

Great idea!

Liz Westwood from UK on July 24, 2019:

I would also add 'Make a list and prioritise it.'

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