Organization in your Home and Office will Increase your Productivity

Organization is the key to productivity both in your home and office.  Ask yourself the following questions.  Am I comfortable when someone unexpectedly drops by my office?  Can I schedule a last minute appointment at my office?  Can I find the document I need at a moment’s notice?  If you can not answer ‘yes’ to each of these questions then you need a plan.

Lack of organization can negatively affect the way you conduct your business by undermining your self confidence and producing
unnecessary stress.  Make a decision to do whatever it takes to organize your office.  This means you must deal ruthlessly with your number one enemy; ‘Paper Clutter!’  It is easy to deal with one piece of paper but what about a stack of fifty? When we face a stack of fifty paralysis sets in.  You must overcome the paralysis, attack the stack,  and develop a vision for the future.

To get organized and maintain order make a list of goals:

  •  Devote one hour a day specifically to tackle clutter.
  • Find a permanent home for each item and piece of paper.
  • Each piece of paper that you touch must be placed in it’s home immediately.  A home for a piece of paper is usually a file or the trash can.  A home is not a pile on the floor, desk, or closet.
  • Avoid the paper packrat syndrome.  Do not keep unnecessary papers.
  • Put like items together.  This includes not only papers but also other items such as paper clips, envelopes, and rubber bands.
  • Put items that you use frequently in the most accessible places.

Before you begin to organize your office make sure you have the space and supplies needed.  You will need file folders, a file cabinet, stack trays, a wallboard or bulletin board, plastic baskets, and plastic containers with lids.  Take time to visit your local office supply store.  They usually stock everything you need to organize your office.

Unfortunately the computer age has not eliminated papers.  In fact, in many instances it has created more.  You will need to find
a home for hard copies of your computer documents.  Create extra space for these extra papers.

Once you have gathered your supplies you are ready to organize.   Create a basic system before you pick up anything in your office.
Make sure you have an empty file cabinet, empty shelves, a bulletin board, several stacked baskets on your desk, a large plastic container with a lid, and a box for trash.   Think about the papers you will be filing and pre-label as many files as you can think
of.  It will be easier to act on each piece of paper if you have already created a home for the paper.  Label some special files with the following names: Good Ideas, Five-Minute Break, Phone Numbers, Daily Agenda, and Weekly Agenda.  The ‘Good Ideas’ file is the
home for future ideas you want to implement.  The ‘Five-Minute Break’ file is for things your enjoy doing.  Periodically take time throughout the day to pull out the file and relax.  Include in this file items such as a magazine to read, a crossword puzzle, or a card to send to a special friend.  The ‘Phone Numbers’ file is your back-up for important phone numbers in case your loose your daily planner or address book.  Your ‘Daily and Weekly Agenda” files are used to temporarily store papers that you need to act on in a day or a week.

Finally, begin picking up each item in your office.  Make a quick decision as to where the item is going to live or make sure it immediately moves out of your office.  If you struggle continually with indecision, consult an expert.  This may be as simple as hiring a good temporary employee, asking your spouse or secretary to help you get organized, or hiring an organization consultant.

“File it, please!”

About Diana Koenig