Ahhh, the weather is getting warmer. You’re finally able to ditch those heavy winter coats for something lighter and less of a hassle to put on. Spring is here, and boy have we missed it!
Whether you let things pile up over winter or were simply too busy to deal with your messy office, spring cleaning is a great way to get things under control. The aesthetics of a messy, cluttered desk aren’t ideal for any office environment, but the real issue is the unnecessary time and energy you have to spend looking for important documents or handy office tools – and how that wasted time can affect your productivity. Here are a few tips to keep your workspace organized.
Get Rid of Old Piles of Paper
Even in this increasing digital age, papers are still a major part of any office environment. We send them, print them, sign them, stack them and ignore them. Eventually, these guys can just plain get out of control. Have you ever found yourself trying to find an important document in a stack of old papers? It’s very frustrating, especially when most of those piles can be easily fixed. Go through old psychical documents and either recycle them or, if you need them that badly in the future, scan them into a digital file. Then, create a filing system that best fits your needs, and make a point to file future printouts as they are created to keep the problem from reoccurring. Remember to think before you print. Ask yourself: Do I really need to print that file, or can it survive in binary code?
Separate Business from Pleasure
Regardless of whether or not you keep a home office, make sure to keep distractions at bay. This is increasingly hard with sites like Facebook and Youtube out there, but the first step is a physical one. Keep a home office free of distraction by having a designated mail location away from your office space, and encouraging family members to keep the area free of toys, tech gadgets, and anything else that might invite lost time and inefficiency to sneak into your day. If you work in an office, smartphones and tablets can be a huge productivity killer. Try and keep your phone at bay and only check it on breaks, not every time you hear a chime.
Keep Often Used Items from the Rest
Items that you use on a regular basis, like your laptop, notepad, pens, and a planner, deserve a spot on your desk. Other items like tape, staplers and envelopes, should be put away neatly in your desk. This keep less frequently used items from taking up desk real estate, but ensures they are easily accessible.
Organize your Digital Workspace
If your finding it hard to see your desktop background because there are so many files and folders on your screen, it’s time to organize your computer. File away documents you know you’ll need again, and delete those you don’t. If you’re unsure, just file it away in a neat and orderly fashion. The idea here is to make sure you can easily access your documents when you need them.
One of the biggest issues with regards to organization is finding the time. Invest the time to properly organize your space, so files, supplies, and other items are in an intuitive, easy-to-find place. Once you’ve established a system that works for you, stick to it! Spending a few seconds to return items to a designated spot will help you save lots of time in the long run.
Keeping your office space clean with not only help you out in the long run, it will preserve your sanity. Now, when you need that important document, or want to use your stapler, you’ll know exactly where you left it.