Office organization requires effort and planning, but it isn’t difficult to accomplish. Taking the time to organize and maintain a productive office can benefit you financially and reduce the stress of not finding what you need, when you need it. Thereby, increasing productivity.
Use these tips to turn your office into a haven for productivity.
1. The desk zone.
Desks should only contain the necessities like your computer, phone, printer, and reference materials. Too many things cause clutter and disorganization. Ideally, your desk should have drawers for supplies and files used daily. Pens, pencils, tape, paperclips, and staples should all stay in containers or in easy to reach drawers.
2. The paperless office.
One of the best things you can do for your office and the environment is to go paperless. Paper creates clutter!
Although a certain amount of paper is necessary, try reading and storing documents online instead. Before you hit the print key, ask yourself: “Do I really need to print this?”
3. Inbox and outbox.
Having in and out boxes on your desk creates a space for those documents that have to be printed, as well as incoming and outgoing mail.
This allows you to know exactly where documents are, instead of having them in piles all over your desk.
4. Snail mail.
If you're like me, all the mail that comes to your home somehow ends up on your office desk. If so, it might be better to sort it into smaller trays and title them: To-File, To-Read, and To-Contact (write or call), rather than placing it all in your in or out boxes. This makes it easier to take action and get the mail off your desk.
5. Filing cabinets.
An organized office needs file cabinets, so use them! Color coding makes it easier and faster to find information.
If your files become stuffed, clean them out. Put prior year’s files in a labeled storage box to free space and put a destruction date on it.
6. Paper shredder.
Shred documents with personal information that you don’t need to keep. This will free up file space and protect confidentiality as well.
7. Do Not Disturb.
Reclaim your time by hanging a sign on the door or a dry erase board to let others know you’re unavailable. This is also helpful when you are recording videos, podcasts, etc.
Dedicated work time helps maintain an organized mind as well as an organized office.
8. Plan it.
A personal planner or desk calendar will help you keep track of your schedule and deadlines.
Write everything down! Include birthdays, appointments, client meetings, deadlines, and any other helpful notes.
9. Once a month clean sweep.
Spend one day a month doing a total clean sweep in your office. Put files and supplies back where they belong.
Clean out desk drawers and file cabinets and shred papers that you don’t need if they contain personal information.
10. Tip top computers.
Computers are the lifeline of an office. Use canned air to dust weekly and screen cleaners to keep your screen in tip-top shape.
Install and use anti-virus software and system utilities to keep your computer running well and backup regularly.