One of the biggest problems most office workers face these days is how to get more accomplished during their workday. How are you supposed to answer emails, prepare for your morning meeting, and put the finishing touches on next week’s big presentation?  We ask ourselves the same question every day.  How can I be more productive?

We spoke with Cynthia Braun, professional organizer and de-cluttering expert to find out how.

First and foremost, Braun said, STOP MULTITASKING!

“I don’t believe in multitasking because your brain just doesn’t work that way,” Braun said. “Focus on one task at a time.  If you are talking on the phone, concentrate on only talking on the phone, if you are typing an email, focus on only typing that email.”

Braun is not alone in her thinking.  Researchers at the University of London found that multitasking while performing certain cognitive tasks as they had participants do during a recent study produced IQ scores that could only be compared to someone who had smoked marijuana or stayed up all night.

But it’s not just multitasking that is getting in the way of your productivity, Braun said.

She has also found that determining when your creative process is strongest is vital to accomplishing the most you possibly can during your day.

Braun found that at night, she was just struggling more with creativity and productivity.

So, she schedules most of her creative tasks for earlier in the day when her cortisol level is at its highest and her brain is freshest.

However, as a professional organizer, to be more productive, Braun says, you must get organized.

“Organizing your cubicle or office is a vital component of your productivity levels throughout the day.

Three important tips she offers her office clients are:

  1. Set up your cubicle properly from day one: Braun suggests small but important things such as having appropriate lighting, placing your phone on your dominant side, i.e. if you are right-handed, have your phone on your right side, if you are left-handed, have your phone on your left side. Braun says, “This will avoid crossing cords and having to reach across to get the phone.”
  2. Take advantage of vertical space: Braun said that she encourages clients to hang important papers. “That way they won’t be cluttering up your desk.”  According to the National Association of Professional Organizations, paper clutter is the No. 1 problem for most businesses.  According to NAPO, the average person wastes 4.3 hours per week searching for papers.  Braun also encourages clients to hang personal photos and inspirational pictures to boost productivity.
  3. Have a file cabinet that is up-to-date: “Make sure you have file tabs on your hanging folders so you know what you are looking at,” Braun said.

Need more motivation and ideas to get moving ?  Check out our blog from earlier this year on Getting Motivated in the New Year.

For more information about Cynthia, visit her website at