You've had a busy day, and your office space reflects it. There are papers, post it notes, invoices, etc. cluttering your desk, leaving barely just enough space for your laptop. Your work is done for the day, but what do you do now? Do you take the time to organize your work space, or do you call it a day and rush home to enjoy your well deserved evening? You may not realize it now, but your decision at this moment will affect your day tomorrow and potentially your entire week.
Starting your day with a cluttered desk will inhibit your ability to focus, leading to lost productivity, and even more clutter as you rush to catch up. At the end of the next day, you will find it even harder to take the time to organize as it now seems like an increasingly daunting task. By the end of the week you feel overwhelmed as the clutter and work pile up. Wouldn't it be much nicer to avoid the compounding stress that stems from disorganization and lost productivity? With a consistent effort each day you will find that it is easy to keep your desk organized. You will also notice how much easier it is to focus on your work.
Follow these office organization tips, and watch your productivity increase:
1. Start with a clean slate- To properly institute an organization process for your office space, you will need to first clean it completely. The major concern at this point is paperwork. Take time to carefully look through the paperwork cluttering your desk, and make a decision on what can be thrown away. Items such as office supplies that take up space, and anything that you do not use daily, should be stored in your desk or in another part of your office. Think hard about anything that you do not use often, and re-evaluate the need to have these items directly on your desk.
2. Categorize and file- Now that your desk is cleaned up, it's time to look through all of the paperwork that you've decided to hang on to. Think about how you use these items, and how you will find them. Start to organize and categorize them in a way that makes the most sense to you. Utilizing a color coded system of folders arranged by category is a common method that helps separate your files in a convenient and easy to navigate way.
3. Beyond the desk- If you have enough space in your office, it's time to put it to good use. Designate an area for mail only. This will keep the extra clutter off your desk, and more importantly, help you to not miss, or misplace, any important mail documents. It's also worth creating a printing station if possible. If your printer is directly on your desk, it can easily lead to more clutter fast.
4. Stick to it- You've cleaned your desk, organized your paperwork, and optimized your office space. Now it's up to you to stick to your new system. Take the extra few seconds to put everything in it's designated space as you work. Then, at the end of the day, spend just 5 minutes of your time to tidy up. You will start the next day fresh, focused, and unburdened by distracting clutter.