Since January, I have been moving the same pile of papers around my desk. Sometimes I flip through it looking for a document. I’ve tried to hide it in my inbox. I’ve thrown it on the floor, vowing to sort it out. To date, I have not used one piece of information in that pile. Still–it remains, taking up valuable space and adding a feeling of clutter to my work area.I just can’t bring myself to throw it away. In the back of my mind, I am convinced that there may be important information in there that, perhaps I’ll need in the very near future.I finally realized how much time I have wasted moving that worthless pile around, so I cleaned up my act. If piles of paper are part of your cubical or office decor, it could be time for a little spring cleaning. Here are some tips to help you get organized, save time and reduce stress.
- File, respond to, or trash your mail as you open it. Do not allow yourself to accumulate miles of piles. You’ll just end up sorting through the same papers over and over again.
- Lump similar tasks together. It is far more time efficient to make your phone calls all at once, then work on all written correspondence, then open and respond to all email.
- Commit 10 minutes of time each day to get organized. Disorganized space is not just inefficient; it is psychologically exhausting. Pick one area to organize every day for a month. Start with the area that bothers you the most, or, start where you spend the most time. For example, I have shelves next to my desk where I store my software discs, mailing supplies, and labels. I had accumulated quite a mess.
- Schedule a monthly “Get-Organized” morning. Once a month, set aside a morning to reorganize your workspace, review your filing system, evaluate your procedures for handling paperwork, or meet with team members to discuss ideas for improving work-flow processes.
- Invest in the proper tools to help you get and stay organized. If your company doesn’t provide the necessary resources, go on a shopping spree to an office supply store to purchase the folders, labels and trays you’ll need to set up an efficient system.
- Don’t let clutter accumulate. Clean up after you complete each project.
- Clear your desk before you go home. Just leave tomorrow’s to-do list and calendar neatly placed on your desk so you can review them quickly and easily when you arrive for work the next day.
Having a workspace that is organized and clear of clutter will save you time and help you to accomplish your daily goals far more quickly. It even can make a difference in whether you dread or look forward to coming in to work in the morning.