by Kyla Camille |
“Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up”, said A. A. Milne once. Performing various tasks in a disorganized work environment costs you more time and additional effort than what you would put into organizing that same office. Having an orderly work space leads to having less wasted time and higher productivity. It does not take long to organize, and once it gets done, maintaining it that way would be much more effective. Here is what you can do to make your office an efficient workspace.
1. Scavenge. Throw away everything that you do not need. Empty, de-clutter, shred, move, or remove. Go step by step, cleaning one area at a time. Fix everything that does not work. Anything that is covered with dust should probably go out – equipment, furniture, supplies, plants, and decorations. Gather at one place everything that is displaced, and then return those items where they should be.
2. Work zones. You should decide what kind of activity happens in different areas of your office. Commonly, offices have a main workspace, a reference area, and a supply area.
3. Close proximity. Place the equipment and supplies that you use most often within your reach. Put away all the stuff you rarely use. Remove everything from the desk, clean it, and put back things that are essential for daily use.
Filing & Archiving
5. Use the labeler. Label drawers, baskets, shelves, and bins. It will be beneficial both to you and others, reminding you where particular things go, and helping others who need to find something in your office.
6. Filing system revision. Think about how you stored files earlier, and the possibilities of switching to a different, more modern, and up to date filing system. Is there something that can be digitally stored? Maybe you can take out some of the old files and folders that have been sitting in your office for some time? As for digital file storing, always remember to make regular back-ups, or store them on an online storage space (cloud). In case of a system failure or similar, they would not be lost.
7. Have a meeting folder. Folder for all the questions, things that need to be discussed, along with things that need to be given. This will make you more prepared for meetings, and handle them less stressfully. Also, have a “To File” folder where you will put all you papers in, and file and organize them once every few days.
8. Storage and magazine boxes. Keep your archived files in storage boxes, do not let them occupy your current file space for no reason. Magazines and catalogues that need to be stored should go into magazine boxes.
9. Archiving. Keep the “working folders” for ongoing projects near you. All materials related to a completed project should be put together, filed and stored.
10. Organize your computer files. A computer desktop may be just as messy as the real one. Do not just throw digital files and folders all around the place. A new folder can be made with just two mouse clicks. Maintain and fix all the peripherals like scanners and printers. Keep replacement ink cartridges stored in the office.
11. Drawers. Small items such as tacks and paper clips should be stored in drawers. Put things that are used together (sticky pads and notepads, stamps and envelopes) in the same drawers, and have a separate one for your personal belongings.
12. Desktop. Organize all the items on your desktop with containers, trays, and sorters. Scan the important documents, so you can get rid of paper. Keep the cords out of your work space. At the end of your work day, always perform a quick clean-up, so you can easily start the next day.
13. Mail. Have different storage stacks for different types of mail you receive. Do not just throw it on a pile, and afterwards spend time in searching for the pieces you need. Sort your mail right when you receive it.
These small, but practical tips can help you big time. Create and maintain a clean and organized workspace, and increase your productivity and work efficiency.