People give all kinds of excuses for living in a mess. Some may tell you that they are too busy and that they simply cannot find the time to organise things. Some may even go to the extent of quoting Einstein who said, “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”
Now Einstein can get away with anything but we can’t! Have you noticed that when our surroundings are unorganised, we actually waste much more time in finding the things that we need. By saving time, we can be more productive and increased productivity is certainly a more reliable sign of intellect than clutter.
Following are certain tips to organise your office and make it more efficient:
Purge your workspace
It can be overwhelming to work in a space which is chaotic. If you have started taking longer than usual to locate things, it may be time to bring some order into the office. You may be wondering where you should begin and generally the first thing to do in such situations is to get rid of anything which you do not use regularly.
Those towering stacks of papers on your desk are the first places you must strike. Get rid of duplicates and the ones that you do need to keep, put them in files and store them in a cabinet. Pull open the desk drawers and throw away anything that you haven’t used in a long time. Once you’ve gotten rid of junk, organising what remains gets easier.
Rearrange to make space
Does your furniture setting make your office space look cramped? If yes, it is time to move things around. Arrange them in a way that doesn’t restrict your movement around the room, making it easier for you to carry out operations. If you need to get up from your desk and walk a few steps to dispose of things, it will not be long before the floor becomes your trash can.
An ideal filing system doesn’t exist and copying the process of others won’t help much either. You need to come up with a system which is best suited for your office setting; one which matches your style of working and also the nature of your job. It should be easy to maintain. You can sort things alphabetically, by client, by project or some other way and place them in labeled storage boxes, which will make it easier for you to access them when the need arises.
Filing tidiness is not just restricted to physical things but digital ones too. It is equally important to file, sort and purge electronic documents from time to time. This prevents any build up of clutter which can delay your work. Having a master file is a great idea as it means that you don’t create duplicates.
It can also help others to find what they need in your absence. There’s hardly anything as annoying as a phone call whilst on holiday enquiring about the whereabouts of a work file.
Your desktop should have only those gadgets and supplies which you need on a daily basis. They should be as few in number as possible and the ones that you decide to keep should be within reach. As you already have gadgets at your disposal, you won’t need an overflowing cup of pencils and pens. Your phone, computer, a notepad, a few pens and a stapler may be all that you need to keep on the desk.
Ritualise your work day
Being organised is not a one-time job. It is a habit which needs to be inculcated and practiced on a daily basis. It is only after constant practice that it starts coming naturally to us. You should be able to tackle the regular influx of files, projects and documents.
For this you may have to set aside a certain amount of time in a day or a week wherein you file completed projects, update your to-do list and ensure that only those things are kept outside which you absolutely need. If you make this a habit, you are likely to have a fresh, organised and clean start each time you arrive at work.
There are many benefits to being organised, the most important of them being that the likelihood of you losing important things is greatly reduced. You will not have to waste time unnecessarily looking for things when you need them urgently. By following the tips given above, you will be able to make your office ultra-efficient and time saving!