Staying productive at work can be difficult with colleagues stopping by to discuss new ideas or projects, office phones interrupting meetings, and email notifications continuously dinging. The good news is that it is possible to stay on task during the work day, despite the constant chaos.

Become aware of disorganization that decreases productivity. Whether it is a messy work area or a racing mind, excess clutter can hinder progress. Here are a few simple ways to become more organized, both physically and mentally.

De-clutter your desk. This does not need to be completed in one day. To avoid being overwhelmed, work on one area of your space for a mere 15-30 minutes each day.

Before you know it, your workspace will become tidier and more organized, you’ll know where documents are, and you may notice an increase in productivity. Once you have created a clean and organized space, stay on top of maintaining it to cultivate prioritization, time management, and multi-tasking skills.

De-clutter your mind. Make a list of five to six tasks to accomplish each day. Allow for flexibility, in case a task takes longer than anticipated or something urgent arises. Plan to work on challenging or time consuming tasks toward the beginning of the day for a sense of achievement and to increase motivation. If things are particularly hectic, consider downloading a free meditation app or getting some early morning exercise to clear your head.

What if it’s not you? If disorganization due to another employee is draining productivity, it can affect an entire team. However, you can help maintain the workflow by:

  • Requesting a weekly or bi-weekly planning meeting.
  • Aiding with the delegation of tasks.
  • Offering constructive and actionable feedback.
  • Asking for clear expectations and deadlines.

Being able to break through disorder not only increases efficiency, but also displays a key skill in effective leadership. Higher management will certainly notice and appreciate efforts to get organized and get working.