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5 Ways to Get and Stay Organized

5 Ways to Get and Stay Organized

Margot Carmichael Lester | Monster Contributing Writer

Getting organized is on many a busy professional’s to-do list. But once you’ve set up systems to tame the clutter, staying organized can be a continual challenge.

“You are always going in 10 different directions,” says admin-turned-author Jamie Novak, who wrote 1,000 Best Quick and Easy Organizing Secrets. “You are interrupted often, plus you need to keep everything at your fingertips, and others are constantly giving you new projects that need to be worked into the list of existing projects.”

So how do you keep on top of your time and workspace while getting your job done? Heed these five tips:

1. Pay Attention

With so many distractions and competing priorities, it’s easy to get derailed. And that can create chaos. Monica Ricci, a professional organizer and author of Organize Your Office in No Time, suggests taking a second to be aware of what you should be doing. “Refer to your schedule, calendar or task list frequently,” she says. “Your organizing assistants — like your task list — will help you stay on track and avoid being distracted.”

2. Keep Track

Managing multiple deadlines can mean several projects wind up on your desk daily. This usually results in confusion and clutter. Janet Luhrs, author of The Simple Living Guide, offers this organizational tip: “Have a dedicated basket or small shelf for pending projects, and stack them in order of deadline. If the deadline isn’t today, create a second file — not on your desk — for items that are due later in the week.”

3. Expand Space

Don’t have enough surface area for that second file? Get creative. “Use hanging hot pockets to free up your immediate real estate for active paperwork,” Luhrs suggests. “That way, you only have one item in front of you on your desk while you’re working on it.”


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