Staying tidy to increase productivity
Summer’s end is back-to-school season for our little ones, but while many of us haven’t taken as long a break as our kids, fall also marks the perfect time for us career folks to start anew. And what better way to do just that then by clearing our workstations of all the clutter? Whether you routinely commute to the office or work from home, heed our tips on how to organize your trusted workspace to efficiently take on the challenges of the “new” season to come.
Get rid of the unnecessary. Despite our increasing reliance on technology, many of us routinely find ourselves with stacks upon stacks of loose papers cluttering our workspaces. The reason being that once a document lands on our desk, we tend to cast it aside until we find the time to deal with it. The problem is there never seems to be a right time, and before we know it, piles and piles of papers clutter our desk.
The first step to reorganizing your workspace is to tackle those very piles: flip each one over, if possible, so that the oldest papers find themselves on top, as it’s far easier to assess whether older documents should be kept or discarded than newer ones. As you look through each document, make two piles, one for papers to keep, the other for papers to shred.
Create a filing system. Once you’ve cleared your desk of loose papers, the remaining ones should not remain on your desk, but rather should be put away in a receptacle to that effect. To start, have a bin for incoming documents, and another for outgoing documents. For documents that don’t fall into either category, file them away in their respective folders in a clearly organized file cabinet. Don’t have the space for the latter? No problem! A large binder with dividers works equally well.
Maximize your space. Another way to keep your desk free of cumbersome items is to utilize the space around it. Walls make for great storage spaces with the proper shelving system, and give you ample space to work with. As for your computer? Think about investing in a laptop computer with which will take up less space. Finally, if you work out of a home office, the printer should be placed atop its own stand, adjacent to your desk. Whatever you purchase to maximize your office space, keep in mind to acquire multi-functional furniture that can easily double as storage space, such as seating with hidden storage compartments.
Tidy up daily. The best way to keep your workspace free and clear is to tidy up at the end of each day. Before the end of your workday, make sure to put everything away and, better yet, prepare what you’ll need for the following day so that you don’t risk rummaging through your desk, which will only create more of a mess! If you cannot get around to it every day, tidying up once a week before you head out for the weekend is an equally good strategy to keep the clutter under control.
Tip: Once you decide to reorganize your desk, the task, undoubtedly, will seem daunting. But rest assured, you shouldn’t be expected to rearrange everything in a single day. Take a measured approach, and take baby steps. Once you decide where to begin, take your time, tackle the task at hand, and move on to the next.