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Tips for Organizing your Office for Productivity

If you’re like most people, you need a clear, organized space to optimize your productivity. You need to be able to see what needs to be done and to give a project update without shuffling through piles of papers. To do this, you need to organize your space as efficiently as possible. Time for an office makeover! Here are five steps to re-organizing your office to put you back in control.

  1. Purge, purge, purge
    Take a good hard look at your desk, filing cabinets, credenza, and drawers. Chances are you will find duplicate and out-of-date documents. You need to get rid of all the unnecessary stuff taking up your working space. If you haven’t looked at it or used it in the last six months, get rid of it. Or if you or your organization might need it again later, archive it.
  2. Rearrange your furniture
    Have a look at your current office layout and see if it’s working for you. Is it set up so you can easily deal with:
    • Incoming files and papers
    • Working documents and files
    • Personal stuff like a coat, briefcase, umbrella, etc.
    • Trash
    Make sure your document trays, filing cabinets and trash can are easy and quick to access.
  3. Organize your desk
    Your desktop is your most important workspace. It should be kept orderly and clear of unnecessary items. Apart from your computer and phone, you might only need a notepad and pen. Items that you don’t use every day (pencils, staplers, staple remover) should go in a drawer.
  4. Get into the filing habit
    Your organization shouldn’t stop with paper copies. Get into the habit of saving every digital file into the appropriate folder, not on your desktop. Make a decision immediately. Does this need to be saved? If so, where should the file logically live? Regularly review and archive files that are no longer current.
  5. Time management
    Find the right time management system that works for you, whether it’s a notebook or a smartphone app. Keep a daily, weekly and monthly to-do list and schedule tasks on your calendar. Make sure your smartphone app syncs with your computer calendar. Don’t forget to organize your day, so you allocate time to deal with emails and phone calls.
  6. Use technology to stay organized
    Technology gives you a huge advantage in keeping it together and focused. Use email folders, filters, alerts and reminders to keep communications under control and your inbox empty. You can use cloud-based storage for completed projects and files. And don’t forget that you can turn off the email and message notifications to minimize distractions when you need to focus.

 

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