Looking to get and stay organized in your office? Whether you work from home, from a business office, or a little bit of both, incorporating just a few habits into your routine will help you keep your work space organized and your day productive!
- DON’T depend on the visual cue of paperwork to remind you of a task you need to do.
How many times have you picked up that piece of paper and said, “I need to remember to do this, so I’m going to leave it here on my desk to remind me to get it done.” Then the next paper comes in, and the next, and the next, and pretty soon, your visual reminder is buried somewhere in a paper pile. So you completely forget about what it is you had to get done until you come across that paper again. Head smack! Oh no – I forgot about this!
Use your to-do list and your calendar to remind yourself of tasks and get that paper into a labeled file, paper tray, or wall pocket with similar back-up docs until it’s time for you to tackle that task.
- DON’T keep an excess of office supplies in your desk.
Are the drawers and surface of your desk chock-full of extra pens, sticky notes, paper clips, staples, labels, folders, etc., etc. etc.? Wasting time rooting through piles of clutter in the form of office supplies can ruin your productivity. Only keep what you need and use regularly in and on your desk. Store the excess in a supply closet, or in bins on shelves. Limited office space? Think vertically – install some shelves high up on the walls for those extra supplies, since you won’t need to get to them all that often.
- DON’T save ALL digital documents and folders to your computer desktop.
Is your computer desktop littered with documents and folders, so much so that they’ve started to pile up and cover one another (not unlike physical paperwork on a physical desktop?) Use a consistent naming convention for documents and folders and get them into your documents folder in your dock. It will save you tons of time searching, and will also allow your computer to boot up faster at the start of the day.
- DO clear off your desk at the end of the day.
If paperwork, files, and office supplies tend to accumulate on your desk as you work throughout the day(and whose doesn’t?), take a few minutes before you walk out the door at the end of the day to get everything cleared off and back where it belongs. Even if you work from home – actually, especially if you work from home – this will not only help you to stay organized, it offers you a clean slate and a fresh start when you walk back into your work space the next morning.
- DO have assigned homes for everything in your office.
Getting everything back where it belongs at the end of the day has a prerequisite, and that’s to assign everything in your work space a home. Get paperwork into labeled files, trays, or wall pockets, office supplies into designated drawers, binders up on a shelf, etc. Set up a convenient charging station to plug in your laptop, perhaps a back-up hard drive, tablet, ear buds, headphones, or any other digital device you keep in your office. That way, it all becomes second nature to recharge at the end of the day and you don’t run out of juice halfway through tomorrow. Having a designated home for everything in your work space makes it easy to find stuff when you need it, and even easier to get it back where it belongs when you’re done. Walk out with a clear head knowing that you’re ready to tackle the day again tomorrow!