The Seventh Day of AFB CareerConnect: 7 Ways to Get Organized As a Worker Who Is Blind or Visually Impaired

Joe Strechay in the AFB New York office in front of a portrait of Helen Keller

As we continue our 12 Days of AFB CareerConnect with our seventh day, I wanted to bring you some new tips and advice on staying organized. During this busy holiday season, it is easy to create clutter in your work space, get behind on projects, and become overwhelmed. Check out how these seven organizational tips can help increase productivity and reduce frustration at work and in life.

7. Keep on top of your filing system: Whether you are using an electronic folder system or a paper filing system, it is important to keep the folder titles straightforward. Common mistakes include creating more than one folder on the same topic. Make sure the titles are straightforward and easy to understand. A little time spent upfront can prevent a lot of time on the tail end.

6. Use a calendar: I can’t stress enough the importance of using a calendar system. Whether you use an electronic calendar or a print format calendar, it is all about what works best for you. I prefer an electronic version, as I can’t see a print calendar. I have my iPhone synced to my Microsoft Outlook software. This keeps me aware of important meetings, dates, and events. It also allows me to make sure I do something special for my wife’s birthday or our anniversary. I love you, Jen!

5. Keep your e-mail account organized and clean: This means using appropriate folders, similarly to tip number 7. Also, make sure to clean out old messages or archive them in an appropriate folder. Take the time to delete the messages that you will never read, but this doesn’t mean messages from your bosses. Just joking!

4. Keep your office, cubicle, or desk space organized: If it is not, take the time prior to the New Year to clean it up a bit. This will make you feel better, I promise (well, I kind of promise). Throw out the old handouts or conference materials you never reviewed again. Get rid of the old compact discs, too. Get your space organized.

3. Scanning important print documents and placing them in related electronic folders can provide a unified organization system. This can also provide you access on the road, if you are using DropBox or another cloud-based storage system.

2. Bring some organization to your wardrobe, as this impacts your work too. Organization is important in many aspects of your life. As an individual who is blind or visually impaired, I know this can relieve some stress. I will be honest, my wife has been a great help with this. She has been a great asset in my current closet system. She is a big believer in removing the clutter and cleaning out the clothing that you don’t wear. Every so often, take the time to donate the clothing you are not wearing. Using a clothing labeling system can be a great help too.

1. Stay on top of your mail: I don’t mean stand on top of it. Yes, I mean your mail that comes from the post office or your internal mail system at a business. As a person who is blind or visually impaired, I know how easy it is to let that go. Take the time to scan, magnify, or get assistance reviewing your mail. I know that I am a fan of the new KNFB Reader app (AccessWorld article), but it is a bit expensive. A desktop scanner can be awesome. If you have a scanner with a feeder, this process will go even faster. I don’t have a feeder on my scanner. Mail can be something that gets you in to trouble with bills, paperwork, jury duty, or just losing connection with friends. It is the holiday season and we get holiday greeting cards (I prefer a nice e-mail).

Now that you have read my 7 Ways to Get Organized at Work, take the time to read my awesome colleague Shannon Carollo’s tips from a past post. Don’t let your organization get you into trouble in the New Year. Follow all of AFB CareerConnect’s advice on staying organized. You might also like these classic thoughts on The Perfect Worker.

At the top of the page, you can choose to follow this blog and keep up with the rest of the 12 Days of AFB CareerConnect’s tips and advice countdown until Christmas, the holiday season, and the New Year. We will be summing this series up on December 23. Don’t miss the tip that will lead to your next position.