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5 Ways to Work Smarter not Harder

How to get organised and become more productive in your workplace

With the sigh of relief that Blue Monday is now behind us, it’s almost impossible to think back to just over 3 weeks ago when we all made New Year’s resolutions. When research tells us, it takes 66 days to create a new habit, it’s easy to forgive ourselves for letting our promise of becoming more organised fall by the wayside. Fear not though as, just when you thought becoming organised was a hard task, we are here to tell you that when you get organised the Blue Jelly way, you work smarter and not harder.


What does it mean to be more organised?

The traditional sense of being organised is simply writing out a to-do list and actioning it. This method sounds simple at first but is just one step forward into becoming your best-organised self.

Becoming truly organised requires you to look at every part of your life and, most crucially, analyse your day to day habits. What are you doing at work that is making you work harder? What are you doing that takes up more time than you feel it should? And what seemingly organised habits see you getting the same results time and time again, without seeming to get any easier?

Analysing your habits and getting organised may sound daunting for some, but you don’t have to work harder to get some order into your work life. Some of the most organised people in the world focus their organisational habits on working smarter, not harder. 


Smarter vs. Harder: How being organised can make home and work-life easier

So, your everyday habit is to come into work and spend the first 30 minutes of your day writing a to-do list in an effort to become more organised. But is that an organised use of your time? Suddenly, when we look at how our habits impact on our ability to reduce chaos and increase productivity, we see where we are working harder instead of smarter.

Think about it this way; since you left work yesterday at 5 pm you’ve been home, walked the dog, cooked dinner, put the kids to bed and watched an hour of that TV show you love. Then you got up, made breakfast, took the kids to school, got stuck in traffic, and stopped off for a coffee in the break room before sitting down to your desk. In that time, your brain has been preoccupied with other tasks and thoughts, and you’ve probably completely forgotten about that report you were meant to add to your to-do list. 

What would happen if you wrote that to-do list down the night before? While everything is fresh in your mind, halve the time you spend wracking your brain trying to remember what you need to do the next day and write down your priorities for the next day. 

 Repeat this process with all the habits in your daily work routine and make time for productivity. 


Blue Jelly’s Top Smart Working Tips

Creating a positive workplace is easier and more effective when your work and workplace feels more organised. Here are our top tips to work smarter and become more productive:

Blue Jelly Work Smarter


1. Creating a space that inspires productivity

Have you ever noticed that the most organised people you know happen to be the tidiest, too? This is no coincidence. Organised people know where everything is and have a home for everything. Not only does this help with day to day working, but it gives you space to get creative. Too many documents don’t just clutter your desk, it also clutters your mind. De-clutter and create a space to think.


2. Make your files work for you (and your team)

Get into the habit of filing your documents, both digitally and paper-based, properly and efficiently. Organised chaos is just that, chaos. It’s important to make sure you can easily access whatever you need to, whenever you need to so that you can stay productive and not be hindered by a never-ending search for that printout or confirmation email. 


3. Time is a commodity you can’t buy

Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, lives by this rule. For someone as successful as him, it’s hard not to follow his thinking. Your time is precious, so make sure you prioritise effectively to make sure you never miss a crucial deadline again.

Use your calendar to your advantage here by blocking out time in your diary to complete tasks. Better yet, plan your whole week to make sure you’re making time for every project and priority in your calendar. 


4. Keep the conversation flowing

One of the main hindrances to organisation is the unknown. Whether it’s where to start or what to do next, it’s important to keep an open dialogue with colleagues to understand what you need to prioritise or make time for.

Got a breakout area for informal or ad hoc meetings in your workplace? Make full use of this space to stay organised. Rather than sending another email, spend 15 minutes with the people you need to and ask the questions you need answering. Step-up your organisational skills once more and follow up with an email to confirm what was discussed, or even add it to your project tracker.


5. An organised team is a dream team

Whether you manage a team of people or must rely on the cooperation of multiple members of different teams across the organisation to get your job done, being organised leads to productivity and open communication. 

Keeping on top of projects can be aided by systems like Teams from Microsoft. Want something more impactful? Look into creating a space in your workplace where organisation meets collaboration. Create a space where you can permanently display key tasks, show upcoming milestones, and celebrate little wins along the way.

Your organising skills will become infectious and create a productive team spirit in the process. That’s a productivity win in our books.


How to make organisation habits stick

According to the European Journal of Social Psychology, it takes 66 days for a new behaviour to become a habit. [1] That means it’s going to take you at least 2 months to start becoming naturally more organised. But don’t let that hinder you. There are many benefits to sticking out those behaviours and turning them into habits.

More organised people are goal orientated and often succeed. They’re optimistic and conscientious, prepared and de-stress.[2] But most importantly, they ask for help, because one of the most beneficial things about being organised is knowing when being unproductive is caused by too much to do rather than a lack of organised time to do it in. 


What next?

Need some help organising your space to create a positive workplace? Let us take on the hard work for you so that you can work smarter. Get in touch with our team today to find out more.

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