Organizing your time at work is a real challenge. While you might just about stay on top of your to-do list, as more work gets piled up on your desk (or more likely gets dumped in your email inbox), figuring out what you need to do and remembering what you have done gets more and more tricky.

Though creating and implementing a new organizing method might take a while, it is worth your time to put a system in place. An hour spent sorting out what you are going to do is a much better use of your time than spending several hours not quite managing to do anything.

But where should you start?

Well, as many businesses rely on a lot of digital communications, your email inbox should definitely take top priority. But why stop there? Keeping your desk and drawers tidy and knowing how to prioritize will set you on the road to success.

Use Tech to Support Your Work

Using technology to be more efficient is quite literally what business is all about these days but with all the focus on productivity, organization is begin massively overlooked. There are all kinds of different types of software that small businesses can use to get more organized. From accounting to HR, the better organized you are, the easier it will be to manage your business successfully.

But while it is tempting to get a different type of software to solve each problem, you should really be looking for a single solution that incorporates as many different aspects as possible without being confusing. Being organized should be about making things more efficient not more complicated!

Google CRM, Copper is a great starting point as it allows you to integrate all your G Suite apps and organize them by relationship. You will never be scrabbling around for the relevant materials again and the whole team can make decisions together. The software is trusted and recommended by Google so definitely worth a go.

Tidy Your Desk at the End of the Week

No matter whether you are managing a startup from home or you are working in an office with a boss, keeping your desk clean and tidy is really important. A lot of paper passes over your desk in a week from scraps with notes to formal documents. Taking time to sort, file and bin as appropriate is always a smart move.

Though it might seem like a waste of time, just 5 minutes at the end of the day and 15 minutes at the end of the week should be enough time to sort through all your stuff. While you are there, take a moment to wipe down the surface and get rid of any rubbish you might have. A tidy desk at the end of the day means you will walk in to a tidy desk first thing in the morning.

If you have shelves or drawers, make sure that you are using them to their full potential. Organizing your drawers using dividers is a good start but arranging things in order of what you use most often. You can also go a step further by organizing each drawer by function. And that weird skinny drawer right at the top? Ideal for pens, pencils, rubber bands etc.

Prioritize Your To-Do List

Creating a to-do list is old hat and something you doubtless do already but there are ways to hack that list to make it even better. While writing everything down is a good way of making sure that you don’t miss anything, you should also work out roughly how long each task will take so that you can fit it into your day neatly.

Most jobs come with simple tasks and more complex tasks and deciding when to do each is a practical move. For example, you might not be feeling so creative before lunch so a simpler task might be better. Figuring out when you are most productive in the day is really important as that is the best time to do your most difficult tasks.

Taking a few minutes at the start of every day to get organized is the best way to ensure your day is as productive as possible. While you are going through your emails, make a list of every action you need to take and then transfer each item to your general list taking deadlines into account. Once you get into the swing of things, you’ll notice a huge difference in your stress levels.