If you’re like most people, your office is a mess. You’ve got piles in one corner and files are strewn everywhere. Your desk has an avalanche of papers and memos and pens. The surface of your computer screen is covered with sticky notes, scraps of paper, to-do lists scribbled on the edges of old envelopes, and worse. Let’s face it: It’s chaos – and it could be costing you money, too. Here are five easy steps to make the whole thing run more smoothly:
1) Arrange Your Desk And Office Area
The first step is to take a long, fresh look at your desk area. Clear off the top completely and see how much space you’re working with. Then, gather up everything from the desktop – all those pen holders and staplers and things that have accumulated since last year’s reorganization – and put them in a box for now.
2) Get Rid Of The Paper Piles
Piles are expensive. They’re expensive because you don’t know what’s in them, who needs to see them or review them, or how long they’ve been sitting there. Chances are you have piles in a variety of places around your work area – on the edge of your desk, under your desk, even next to the credenza. In every case, they represent organizational chaos, and they need to go.
3) Find A Place For Everything
Once you’ve eliminated your piles, it’s time to re-establish the organizational laws that govern your work area. Basically, everything needs a home – and everybody needs to know where that home is. For example, when you get a piece of paper, don’t just stuff it in one of the folders on your desk. Assign each folder a specific function – “To Be Filed,” “To Be Approved By Mike,” etc. – and then file the paper based on that designation.
4) Create A To-Do List
At the end of every day, write down everything you need to do tomorrow. This is more than just creating a list; it’s about deciding on the best way to attack your tasks so they get done more quickly and efficiently. Then, before you leave the office, review your list and re-prioritize any items that need to be moved up or down in importance. And don’t forget to add anything else that needs to be acted on tomorrow.
5) Go Digital
It may be a pain, but it’s necessary: Create digital folders for your e-mail Inbox and Sent Items. In this way, not only is clutter minimized, but you can tell at a glance what you’ve already read and dealt with – as well as what needs further attention. Furthermore, using Microsoft Cloud Solutions is a great way to keep your work life more organized, as well as save you time and money.
Ultimately, what you’re trying to do is create a work environment that’s conducive to productivity. And the only way to go about it is step-by-step, eliminating anything that doesn’t belong and creating systems for dealing with every aspect of your office domain.