10 simple ways to get organized at work

The professional world of career ladders and corporate activities can be difficult to navigate in the best of times. However, when you throw in multiple projects and more than one boss, it can get downright overwhelming. We asked two of Canada's busiest and most successful women to share their tips on how to stay organized at work.

By Louise Andre

Four tips for being organized at work
©iStockphoto.com/AVAVA
The simple key to dealing with stress in the workplace is to stay organized. Whether you're working on multiple tasks at once, or answering to more than one supervisor, it's important for you to remain calm and chalk out a plan that works in your favour.

We asked Arlene Dickinson of CBC's Dragon's Den and president of CTV News Wendy Freeman to share tips and tricks on how they stay organized, and how you can too.

1. Don't multi-task
Many professionals agree that blocking your time is far more effective than multi-tasking. Studies show that multi-tasking can negatively affect your brain in terms of memory and focus. One of Arlene Dickinson's top tips is to slow down. ''Work on one task, finish that task and then move onto the next one,'' she says.

2. Have a to-do list and follow it
You should keep a daily (and, if possible, weekly and monthly) to-do list. The key is to focus on completing the tasks. Wendy Freeman says, every evening before she leaves the office, she writes down what she needs to do the next day. ''I keep a to-do checklist that I like to tick off at the end of each week, ''Freeman says. ''I challenge myself to always get things done in an organized fashion.''

3. Realize you're not the same as your co-worker
Dickinson believes the more you try and understand what works best for you, the happier and more productive you'll be. ''Don't beat yourself up by comparing how you organize your day at work compared to how others organize themselves,'' she says. Everyone is wired differently and how you stay on top of your responsibilities at work will not always be the same as the person sitting next to you.

4. Don't procrastinate
Procrastination will do nothing other than increase your stress levels and workload later. Do bothersome things first to get them out of the way. ''I always try to get it done as quickly as possible because I get a lot of satisfaction out of checking items off my to-do list,'' Freeman explains. So go ahead, and create your own to-do list.

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