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Organise your office to organise your work

A well-organised office leads to your work being organised too. You may not realise why you are being less productive and your work flow is not smooth – it could be because you have a disorganised office.  A disorganised space makes you restless, and affects your productivity. Subconsciously, you are not happy to work in an unruly mess, and the guilt of procrastination also keeps nagging you, which again hinders you from giving your work your full concentration. Organising your workspace has to be an ongoing effort, or else you will end up with a huge amount of clutter again. Here’s how you can organise your office and thus, organise your work:

 Fix a time every day to clear up

You could allot the first hour of Monday, or the last hour of Friday to de-clutter, organise and plan. You’d need an hour initially if your office mess has gone out of hand. But once you start organising things regularly, 15 minutes would be enough, and the rest of the time can be spent on planning your work schedule for the day or even the week. You should look at the time spent organising as an investment for productive workflow. 

Purge, purge, purge

Be ruthless when you are clearing out the clutter. Shred unwanted paper and send it for recycling, throw away office supplies which have dried up and if anything has broken down, repair it or toss it out. If you don’t have time to dust, donate any extra furniture or decorations, and get them out of your office as they make your office look shabby. 

Clean your desktop 

Like most people, your productivity levels would increase when you are working in a clutter free desk. A clean desktop leans to smooth workflow, unless you secretly need a bit of disorder to get your creative juices flowing. Some people thrive in a disorderly space, so you have to organise your table and stand up desks accordingly. But for most people, a pristine desktop would be lovely to come to and look at the first thing in the morning. A tidy workspace is quite inspiring to most people.

If possible create a computer space and a non-computer space, where you can do your writing, signing etc., away from the monitor and cords etc. You can have separate desk too, if you want where you can ‘doodle’ your designs, or plan out your work on paper. 

Work out the paper flow

A good quantity of emails and paper flows into your office. Once this flow increases to an extent that it becomes unmanageable, you get stuck, and you get confused as to what goes where, if you don’t immediately put them in their files. Allotting some time every day to sort out your emails and paperwork will help you become more organised and find an important mail or paper when you want it.

Most of your paperwork/mails will have an expiry date, i.e. a date beyond which you wouldn’t need to look at it, for at least this year. You can scan the papers you need and start an e-filing system, using Dropbox folder or any other cloud storage.

Make three categories of filing

An Active file, in which you keep all the paper or mails you need immediately at hand. Personal notes to yourself or reminders can go in this file or you can put them up on the noticeboard and discard them after your work is done. You can put the opened documents and the day’s schedule in this file/tray.

A To-do file in which you keep the things that you will tackle at a later date, such information related to a design or work you will start working on later in the week or coming week/s. Perhaps you have to file your taxes the following week, so have all the relevant information in that file. You can keep unread, new and unopened documents in this file/tray.

An Archive file to file papers which you don’t need for the time being, but cannot throw away either, such as the previous years’ taxes, ideas for some new design or project and so on. You can use filing cabinets or scan them to store them virtually.

Clear your desk of machines

You don’t need to have your printer, scanner, fax machine on your desk. Keep them on a separate table or tuck them away neatly under your desk, out of sight. Instead of three machines, you can go for a state-of-the-art multifunction printer, which will accomplish all these tasks.

Store office supplies and personal items in drawers

Every office has some office supplies such as staplers, tape dispensers, pens, markers, paper clips which actually create the most clutter on top of your desk. You can store them in your desk drawer where they’re handy. Your personal items too, such as sunglasses, earphones, tablet, wallet, and so on should not be on top of the table. Take them out when you need them or keep them in a drawer, so that they don’t add to the desktop mess.

Clear the walkways

Design your office space in a way that the path you walk on from your desk to your filing cabinets is clear, so that you don’t have to negotiate your way carefully every time. Even a small thing such as this can give rise to stress to yourself and your co-workers. You can have that stylish coffee table (where you intend to entertain clients), but place it in a corner so that it does not get in the way.

Store books in the bookshelf

You might need to refer to manuals and books, but these books take up a lot of space on your desk. A bookshelf which is wall mounted will save space in a small office. If you have space you can buy a freestanding one.

A neat and tidy environment is calming and restful. A disorganised office is most often the reason why work suffers.  Make a commitment to yourself to keep your workspace organised and you’ll be amazed to see how organised your work has become, leading to better productivity.

Article Submitted By Community Writer

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