How To Stay Organized at Work Using the LifePlanner™
Whether you have an office work schedule, work-from-home schedule, or both, you may need additional help balancing work and home life. Many use some sort of work planner, such as project management software, a digital calendar, a dedicated paper planner, or all of the above, to schedule and manage activities and commitments. Add to that your child’s schedule and your personal schedule, and things are bound to get lost in the shuffle. Here are seven ways to use the Erin Condren LifePlanner™ effectively to help you tie your two (or more) worlds together in one seamless place.
1. Begin and end the day with a prioritized plan to help you focus.
Start the workday by writing down everything you want to accomplish. Snap a To-Do List Dashboard into your planner to make it easy to get started. While you sip your morning coffee or tea, formulate your list to tap into a focused mindset for work. Number tasks to prioritize them, which will help you determine the order in which you need to get them done.
Throughout the day, erase or cross off each item as you complete it. Getting things done is rewarding and keeps you motivated, so it’s important to take this small step! Create a similar list for anything you need to do after work. Write this list in a different color to easily distinguish it from your work list. The best part of the To-Do List Dashboard is that it’s wet erase, meaning you can reuse it and begin each day with a clean slate.
2. Use time-blocking to get things done, especially those more intimidating tasks.
Use your LifePlanner™ to designate time for meetings, correspondence, and big projects. If you tend to put off responding to emails or phone calls, block out a start time and end time when you’ll type replies and return messages. Evidence suggests you’re more likely to get tasks done quickly when you know there’s an end in sight. If you tend to get several emails and calls each day, set aside multiple short times to tackle them throughout the day, making them a little less daunting.
3. Set aside time so you remember to take breaks (they’re important!).
Scheduling breaks is essential, especially when working from home. Without the option of the office water cooler or corner coffee shop to catch up with coworkers, it’s important to take time to get up from your desk and move around. Several studies show that breaks make you more productive, giving your brain and body time to reset between tasks. Take advantage of stickers and markers to highlight these breaks so you’re more likely to follow through on taking them.
4. Take notes and store important info in your LifePlanner™.
Your LifePlanner™ is for more than scheduling appointments. Take your planner to meetings and use the Productivity Pages to take notes and make short action lists. The double-sided folder in the coiled LifePlanner™ will come in handy for storing paperwork like important memos or handouts when you don’t have time to return to your desk between meetings.
Of course, your LifePlanner™ can help you with scheduling as well. Having it on hand during meetings and phone calls will ensure you can quickly confirm availability for follow-up appointments or project deadlines. The more information you have at your fingertips, the less you’ll need to circle back to confirm dates.
Discover all LifePlanner™ formats, layouts, designs, and sizes to find one that fits your style and needs.
5. Color-code tasks to motivate and calm you.
Color-coding is about more than making your personalized planner look nice (although we love that, too). While color-coding will quickly let you see the different types of work you need to do in a day, it can also potentially affect your mood and how motivated you are. Think about your favorite colors and what colors you find calming. In color psychology, different colors are associated with different emotions.
How to Color-Code to Increase Productivity:
Blue: Considered a stable and safe color, blue is ideal for those slightly intimidating tasks you need a little encouragement to begin.
Yellow: Have fun highlighting breaks in a sunshine-like shade, typically associated with happiness. Yellow signals your brain that you have something to look forward to, motivating you to wrap up items so you can enjoy a little me time.
Silver: If you’re working on a project that both inspires and challenges you, the color silver may be perfect, as it’s usually linked with innovation.
Play around with the colors that work best for you and your personality.
6. Let your LifePlanner™ inspire you to organize both your life and your workspace.
You’re less likely to use your LifePlanner™ if you can’t see it on your desk! Items like a planner holder ensure you’ll know where it is at all times. A tidy workspace is also less distracting, and evidence shows that neater personal spaces are associated with decreased stress. As you begin to organize your day-to-day with your LifePlanner™, there’s no reason that organization can’t extend to your workspace as well.
To stay organized at work, you’ll need the right tools. Consider investing in simple desk accessories like the following:
Desk organizer sets: According to Sabine Kastner, professor of psychology and neuroscience at Princeton University, clutter can scatter attention and make it harder to think clearly and get work done. Tools like desk organizer sets prevent accessories like paper clips or reading glasses from becoming their own sort of clutter. You can stack or separate containers as needed to make extra space available.
Pencil holders: There’s nothing worse than knowing you have 10 pens but being unable to locate a single one! A pencil holder is a great way to store loose items like pens, markers, and scissors.
Zipper pouches: Keep everything in one convenient place when you’re running from home to the car to the office.
Don’t be afraid to add touches of home as well. Psychologists have found that personalizing one’s workspace can lead to a more positive work experience, so embrace your personal style.
7. Journal in your planner to clear your mind and set goals.
Work journaling can help you manage stress and allow you to grow personally and professionally. Use the notes section of your LifePlanner™ to journal for five to 10 minutes each day. Research shows that writing down goals can make you happier and more productive in the long run. This creative exercise will not only help you clear your mind, but it can also be the brainstorm session or the jumping-off point you need to kickstart a project.
Using your LifePlanner™ at work goes beyond penciling in meeting times. Make this space your own by keeping the necessary tasks and creative ideas you need close at hand. Your Erin Condren LifePlanner™ is your lifeline to streamline all things business and personal. Once you find a system you like for organizing your days, weeks, and months, keep at it to stay calm, focused, and make the most of your time.
Explore the full LifePlanner™ collection to customize your perfect work planner today.