When you got to work this morning, your messy office brought you down: loose papers, PostIts, coffee cups… It’s enough to make you forget your priorities. Sounds familiar? Here are a few tips (tried and tested by yours truly) to help you organise your office.
Tidy up for clarity
It’s just like your mother used to tell you about that unholy mess in your room.
Job one: ORGANISE. There’s nothing better to help you see clearly!
Take a proactive attitude towards those papers cluttering up your workspace:
- Is there an e-mail that requires an answer? Do it.
- A document that needs filing? Don’t wait.
- A meeting jotted down on a scrap of paper? Enter it in your schedule.
The aim? To keep only what you’re using right now.
This also goes for your computer area. At the end of the day (or at least the end of the
week), organise and clean your desktop. What a great background! Haven’t seen that in a
while, have you?
Keep useful things within reach
Like us, you’re probably in the habit of sprawling a multitude of things on your desk, some
useful and others not so much: handwritten notes from three months ago, a postcard sent by one of your co-workers last summer, a stress ball, a half-eaten chocolate bar… No? Well, have a look around. See, we told you so! Take a few moments to identify the items you need for a working day:
- Pens and pencils: Collect the ones that still work and put them in a pencil case.
- Seals and stamps: Only keep the ones) you use most on your desk. The others? In a drawer.
- Notepad: Choose a bound notepad rather than loose sheets.
- Dictionary: Find a place for it on a shelf next to you.
Generally, anything you only use ‘once in a while’ can be put away.
Get some storage
Now you’re probably asking, “But where can I put all this stuff?” Equip yourself with the
tools you need to tidy up your office. Ask for the following equipment:
- Inbox: to hold your documents until you process them.
- Binders: with inserts to find things faster.
- Furniture: set of drawers, shelving, filling cabinet.
Get rid of stuff gradually
Ask yourself this question: How long should this piece of paper be kept? Most of the time, you can throw it out. The only exceptions are a few official documents (bills, contracts, etc.). Place a paper bin next to you. For documents containing confidential information, use the shredder.
Centralise and digitise
Your paper diary is overflowing. And what about your phone book? How many old to-do lists are lying around on your desk? Use your computer equipment. Digitise and centralise your information in a tool. Do you use a time-tracking system like we do? If you do, cleaning up your desk will help you fill it in easily. With to-do lists and an up-to-date calendar, you won’t have to worry about your mind going blank, which happens to all of us, when you have to fill in your time sheets.
Now that you’ve cleared your space thanks to our tips, stand back and admire your workstation. Take advantage of the reclaimed space to work smarter and happier.