Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

5 Tips for Getting Organized at Work

Manage Time Instead of Multitasking
Hmm, not sure your system is working, buddy.
Hmm, not sure your system is working, buddy.

You've heard it before: Those who can balance ten tasks at once are the ones who make it to the top of the working heap. If you can Skype into a conference while responding to e-mails, berating your assistant and disseminating reports to superiors, chances are you've got management written all over you.

But is that really true? Consider a study funded by Hewlett-Packard that found that workers distracted by e-mail and phone calls suffered an IQ fall nearly twice that of people who smoked marijuana [source: New Atlantis].

Make a rule to turn your attention to materials like invoices, action items and even e-mails only once. Instead of paying bits of attention to several different areas, you might feel less scatterbrained if you take on a task and finish it to completion (or at least until a set time to stop) [source: Bomkamp]. This strategy will also help you keep clutter to a minimum by filing or getting rid of papers right away.