When I’m not organized, my work and mental health suffers. This is true both in my personal life and my professional life. So, over the years I’ve learned and developed a few systems that have kept keep me organized and on top of things without creating a ton of work for myself. Here are some of my favorite tips below to inspire you to have the organized and functional office of your dreams.
Workspace Organization Tips & Inspiration
1. Desktop Organization
There’s no faster way to inspire an immediate change in attitude than with an uncluttered, clear and pristine desk. Think of your desk as a reflection of your head. No matter how creative and brilliant you are, you’ll perform better with an organized desk.
You shouldn’t have anything on your desk that isn’t “active,” meaning it still needs to be dealt with.
2. To-Do Lists
When writing a to-do list, group alike tasks together such as making calls or running errands to increase efficiency. But avoid getting overwhelmed with your workload by breaking it into small, manageable tasks.
Write to-do list items on individual sticky notes and put them on a wall calendar. Rearrange them as your priorities change. At the end of the day, review your checklist and cross off completed items. Move any pending items to a fresh list for tomorrow.
3. Paper Clutter
Deal with new papers first. No matter how high the old piles are, begin by devising a system for the new arrivals.
Decide immediately what to do with each piece of paper that comes across your desk. Do not postpone these decisions. Paper piles are messy monuments to a long series of small procrastinations.
Once you are faithfully dealing with new papers in a systematic way, haul out all unfiled older papers, and take them through your new system.
Use a vertical file organizer for “active” files. Reserve your desk inbox for items that need to be dealt with pronto.
Name your file folders with nouns. Use the ones that first pop into your mind when you need the material.
Banish the concept of a miscellaneous file from your life. If something is worth putting in a file folder, it’s worth putting in a folder than has a specific label.
For travel, business, and leisure create a different binder devoted to your important documents.
For example, when creating a travel binder, include pocketed folders to store airline tickets and receipts, a contact section storing important phone numbers, and a location portion highlighting hot spots and destination details.
You might feel like multiple schedules lead to more confusion. For a little planning relief, combine home and work calendars.
Simply choose various colors to mark important dates: one for professional tasks and meetings, one for personal appointments, one for social engagements, one for your children’s activities, and so on.
7. Cork Boards & Sticky Boards
No need to hang lists, phone numbers and reminders all over your cubicle walls. Instead, create a one-stop message center with a cork or sticky board.
Hang your daily to-do list, phone numbers, and a weekly calendar of events and meetings. That way, you’ll have all your need-to-know information in front of you.
Stay on top of your electronic inbox. Check email when you arrive, and immediately sort each message into an appropriate folder. Even if you don’t have time to deal with the contents of a message or even read it fully, sort it for later action.
9. Set Yourself Up for Success Each Day
Remember that your desk sends a clear signal about who you are and how you approach your work. You should have an organized desk at the start and finish of every day!
10. Bonus Tips:
Being and feeling organized at work can also sometimes be a reflection of how we feel about our overall life. Here are a few extra tips and things to think about as you’re getting organized.
- If you don’t feel comfortable with technology, find someone who can help. It’s evolving and changing so quickly, don’t feel embarrassed to ask for help.
- Use tools that fit you. What works for someone else very well may not work for you. Don’t try to force a bad fit.
- If the stuff you have isn’t helping you create the life you want, why do you have it? Think about that and then see if there’s anything you could do to simplify your life.
What are some of your favorite tips for keeping your office and desk organized? Share with us in the comment below!
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- Starting the Journey to Organized Home Office Bliss
- Simply Organized: Seven Tips to Boost Workplace Productivity
- Tickler File Your Style
- Reboot Your File Cabinet in 7 Simple Steps
- Americans Spend the Equivalent of 4 Days Every Year Looking for Things
- How to Organize All of Your Creative Ideas
- Finding Your Unique Organizing Style for Your Business
- Why Organizing Your Home and Office Matters
- Happy Organize Your Home Office Day!