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Posted on 02.09.2017

Virtual Desk Cleaning: Habits for Staying Organized this Year

If you’re anything like me, setting aside time to organize your inbox and desktop seems like a daunting task – one you avoid day in and day out until things pile up to the point you just can’t take it anymore! Sound familiar? I understand. Here are some helpful habits to eliminate stress, organize your ‘virtual desktop,’ and tackle the year with fresh goals and a slimmer workspace.

1) Take inventory. Take a step back and evaluate. Which items need attention? Which are highest on your priority list? Start there. By taking a small inventory of the tasks at hand, you’ll get more organized and prioritize your workflow.

2) Make a list. Once you have a good idea of the tasks you need to complete, make a list. This will keep you on track and allow you to check off items when completed. Your list can serve as an outline to your day. Make a point to start a list at the end of each day for the following day. This way, when you arrive at your desk the next morning, you will have your day prioritized and can get started right away.

3) Schedule time to declutter. Schedule time each day for specific tasks. For example, set aside an hour in the morning to tackle emails from the day before or follow up with any unfinished business. Make a point to delete unwanted emails or tasks that clutter your inbox. Use your task bar to flag important emails or create folders for storing older ones. Do the same for your desktop. Folders free up space and keep information organized. Once you get into a daily routine, these tasks will seem less intimidating and you’ll improve your productivity every day.

4) Set reasonable, reachable goals. Instead of setting long-term, loftier goals, try setting smaller, short-term goals. Once you start checking these accomplishments off your list, you will feel motivated to conquer larger, long-term goals. The satisfaction of completing smaller tasks will fuel your next goal.  

5) Go easy on yourself. Most of us beat ourselves up over not completing all the items on our to-do list each day. This is normal, but can have a negative effect on how you approach tasks in the future. Don’t stress out if you can’t strike through every item on your list. It’s okay! Rather, lookat all the items you did cross off and pat yourself on the back. You did it! Roll the other items on to the next day’s list, prioritize them, and knock them out tomorrow. Remember: Do what works best for you.

Berkley Aiken is an Administrative Assistant at Lovell Communications. Connect with her at: Berkley@lovell.com

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