6 Tricks to Organizing Your Workspace
There are all sorts of offices. Some are neat and so organized they look like they should be on the cover of a magazine. Others look like the summer home of the Absent-Minded Professor. When it comes down to getting things done though, it doesn’t really matter how pretty or messy your office is. The keys are being able to quickly figure out what you need to get done today and being able to find what you need to make it happen.
If your office doesn’t quite meet that standard, here are 6 tricks to help:
- When in doubt, throw it out. Get rid of anything taking up valuable space. Purge your office of any duplicates and throw out anything you haven’t used in more than a year, with the exception of anything related to your taxes or current client records. Once you’ve ‘thinned the herd’, you can more easily organize what’s left.
- Make life easy on yourself. Evaluate your office layout based on how you work and make sure the items you use the most are where you’re going to be the most. If you’re using the printer a lot, there’s no reason you should have to walk across the office every time.
- Put up a calendar. Yes, the old fashioned kind. Having a calendar on the wall with your appointments and important dates on it, or at least for reference, means you don’t have to minimize what you’re working on to check it. If you share an office, it also means everyone else in the office can see your schedule at a glance even if they’re away from their desk. If your life is electronic, try an online calendar app like Google Calendar or share your Apple calendar. Making your day public can also avoid scheduling conflicts, and because others can hold you accountable for your time, you’re more likely to stay on track and meet your goals.
- Make your stacks of paper count. Even in a modern office, it’s hard to avoid having stacks of papers or files around. Make a point of converting these stacks into actionable items. You have those files out for a reason, so put that reason on your calendar.
- Write it down. Make notes or add something to your calendar while it’s fresh in your mind rather than waiting for the details to blur. PRO Tip: Plan out your next day before you leave the office and put it in writing. That way you know you have all the information you’ll need, and you can hit the ground running in the morning.
- Add some decoration. Since you’ve gone to all the trouble of getting rid of any excess clutter, it might seem counterintuitive to add some back in. That’s not necessarily the case. A few individual touches like a figurine or some personal effect can give you a greater sense of well-being and make your day brighter. Plants or pleasing scents can also make your office more pleasant to work in and increase your productivity.
A stitch in time saves nine, the old saying goes. So even if your schedule is busy, taking some time to organize can save you a lot more time down the road. You’ll find the trade-off is well worth it.