Stay Productive Series Part 1 of 3: How Disorganization Decreases Productivity

There are so many productivity demons lingering in the typical office that it can sometimes be hard to imagine that any useful work is achieved. The visual, auditory, and mental clutter of the day-to-day life in most office today provides additional challenges to our teams. Above and beyond their productivity functions and goals, they also have to manage being inundated with emails, meeting requests, and other disruptions to optimal productivity. There are ways, though, to manage these disruptions and stay on track with productivity goals



Staying productive at work can be challenging with the constant ringing of office phones with multiple lines, mobile phones ringing, email notifications dinging, and meeting requests popping in; this in addition to colleagues stopping by to discuss new ideas or projects. The good news is that there are some easy ways to stay on task and track despite the constant chaos of a typical work day.

Disorganization is one of the biggest obstacles to optimal productivity. Physical and mental clutter can create chaos that hinders progress. There are a few simple ways to become more organized, both physically and mentally.

De-clutter your workspace. If you are a self-proclaimed messy person or a pack rat, this does not need to be completed in one day. In fact, if your space is so messy that the thought of organizing it seems overwhelming, you should tackle the problem over several days or even weeks. Set a timer for 30 minutes each day and work on one specific area of your space. If your work day is particularly demanding, then plan to either come in 30 minutes prior to the day’s start or stay 30 minutes past the day’s end to tackle your mess, one drawer at a time. Day by day, your workspace will become tidier, more organized, and your productivity will begin to increase as a result. Once you have created a clean and organized space, keep it tidy by cleaning up after each task or, at the very least, at the end of each day. Staying on top of a clean and organized physical space will encourage you to be mentally tidy as well, which will greatly help you in prioritization, time management, and multi-tasking.

To clear up mental clutter, create daily task lists at the end of each day. By focusing on five to six tasks each day, you can remain on task and have a sense of accomplishment. Allow for flexibility, just in case a task takes longer than anticipated or something urgent arises. Plan to tackle challenging or time consuming tasks toward the beginning of the day.

What if your manager is the disorganized one? If your manager or team members’ disorganization is draining productivity, it can be difficult to manage the effects it has on your workflow.  Many times one person’s disorganization can affect an entire team. However, you can help minimize the effects by:

  • Sharing feedback on how their disorganization is affecting the group.
  • Offering to help with the delegation of tasks.
  • Having a regularly scheduled planning meeting.
  • Asking for clear expectations and deadlines.
  • Creating a system of morning and evening check-ins or briefs to help create and refine daily task lists, as well as to provide updates on progress.

Creating order from chaos is one of the biggest factors in becoming more productive. Being able to do so also displays a key skill in effective leadership, which your higher management will certainly notice and appreciate. In our next article, we will discuss ways to build your day for maximum productivity.

Gary Vice is sought out by leaders in Software and Services who recognize the need to attract the industry’s best talent.  Through Strategic Recruiting Partners’ extensive network of relationships, they are able to identify high level opportunities for well qualified candidates.  To discover how this process can benefit your job search, simply reply to this email or call Gary at 469.402.4008.