This is a guest post by Tom Walker. He spends much of his time editing posts about design and print media on the CreativeCloud blog
Are you finding that your cluttered office is getting in the way of your productivity at work? Maybe your workspace is so non user-friendly with piled up paperwork that you are fighting for a place to actually work. Or it could be that you are spending just as much time looking for things than you are on a given task. When faced with a mountain of muddle we are often left feeling quite bewildered and wondering just where to start.
These ten tips not only offer you that starting point but show you how you can maintain an organized working environment that will not only be a functional workplace but an enjoyable place to carry out your business.
1. Create a Workspace That Works for You
Make sure your workspace is clear, as an uncluttered workspace means an uncluttered mind and will allow you to concentrate better on tasks at hand. Items such as pens, markers, highlighters and message pads can be kept at hands reach in storage containers on your desk, while bulkier items like staplers, scotch tape and calculators should be kept in your desk draw so that they are out of the way but still easily accessible.
2. Throw as You Go
Ensure you have a recycling bin, waste bin and paper shredder close to your desk so that you can discard unwanted things easily as you go. Throw out pens and markers that don’t work, put paper you no longer need straight into the recycling bin and shred envelopes or unwanted documents that contain personal details as soon as you don’t require them any longer. This will stop your desk from becoming quickly consumed by a mountain of useless paper.
3. Sort paperwork as it crosses your desk
Set up on your desk several labelled trays to allow you to easily sort paperwork the first time you handle it. This will ensure that you tend to your business in a timely manner and will prevent important documents from getting lost in a pile of mess.
4. Ensure There’s Adequate Storage
Make sure that when you set up your office you create a place for all equipment and supplies that you need. In order to keep your office organized get into the habit of putting things away in their assigned places as soon as you have finished using them.
5. Develop a Filing System That You Can Maintain
Create a filing system that is simple and manageable. Ensure that all your files are labelled and consider colour coding your files to make it easier to find things. Cull your files regularly to ensure you are not keeping things you no longer need as this may cause your filing cabinets to become over filled.
6. Don’t Keep Supplies You Don’t Need
If you haven’t used something in your office in twelve months then chances are you never will. Get rid of anything you don’t need as it just takes up valuable space.
7. Restock Supplies Before They Run Out
Keep track of your office supplies to avoid running out of the things. If you need to order stationery you will need to factor in printing and delivery time so don’t leave it until you have run out to restock.
Make a to-do list and prioritize your jobs. There will be unplanned things that arise that need your urgent attention but keeping a list will ensure that you tend to all the tasks you need to get done.
9. Don’t Put Away Tomorrow What You Can Put Away Today
To keep your office organized it’s important to get into the habit of putting things away as you go. This will prevent your office from becoming cluttered and ensure that you always know where things are.
10. Prepare for the Following Day
Take some time at the end of each work day to clear your desk in order to begin each morning with a clear workspace. Check all the elements are properly working including your Internet Connection, so that you do not have to lose your cool the next day!
Organizing your office and maintaining it does take some time but when it allows your working day to be more productive and less stressful you will find that it is something worth investing your time in.