Whether you have a dedicated home office or corner in the kitchen, organising your office space can help you ease stress and boost your productivity. But it can also be a task that’s overwhelming, especially if you haven’t cleared your space for a while!
Follow these easy tips to avoid overwhelm, boost your productivity and freshen your office space.
Limit your expectations
When it comes to avoiding overwhelm associated with having a clear-out, limiting your expectations is key. Rather than looking to have your entire office space sorted in a short timescale, look to narrow your focus to specific areas. You can then limit the time spent on the task as well as reaping the rewards faster – so I’ve arranged these tips in easy to manage chunks.
Your natural workflow
We all have a natural workflow and it pays to take this into account when organising your office space. Keep the things you use on a regular basis to hand, as this will save time and avoid unnecessary breaks in concentration. For example, if you print a lot, look to have the printer on your desktop, within easy reach. If you refer to printed books a lot, have them all together in a bookcase near you – or a shelf with specific reference books on it.
Clearing clutter off your desk
Having a clear space to work will help you focus and feel productive. Look to hide away anything that you don’t regularly use and create a desk layout that adheres to your workflow and pattern.
Sorting out your drawers
Next, work on clearing the junk out of your office drawers. These are great stashing places for things we don’t really need – and then we struggle to find the things we do need! Get rid of those old pens that don’t really work, use storage tubs for paperclips and pins, and bin that old Bluetack!
Giving your filing cabinet a spring clean
When was the last time you went through your filing cabinet? If there’s anything that is no longer needed, discard or shred it.
Overhaul your filing system
To make you even more productive, look to ensure your offline and online filing system match. It doesn’t matter if you use client names, an alphabetical or numerical filing system, pick one that works for you and carry it across to your laptop or PC too.
Release the guilt – get rid of old training products
We’re all guilty of buying a training manual or folder, using it once or twice and then filing it away, never to be used again. These old training products harbour guilt – especially if they cost money – as we want to ensure we get our money’s worth.
Even if they are free downloads, we kid ourselves into thinking we’re going to read and implement them at a later date. The truth is, if they’ve been in your filing cabinet or on your bookcase for more than 6 months – you probably aren’t going to use them. So ditch them and the associated guilt or remorse and move onwards and upwards.
Finally, look to install suitable storage containers. If you’re frequently moving items (especially if you don’t have a dedicated office or travel to clients homes etc.), make sure you use stackable storage containers with lids and handles or wheeled cases, to make the moving easier.
If you have lots of paperwork, invest in ring binders, lever arch files and box files, to be better organised. Not only do suitable storage containers keep items in one place, it also protects your items from damage and loss – saving you time, money and helping to increase your productivity.
How often do you sort your office space? Do you easily get overwhelmed at the thought of clearing your space or is it something you commit to regularly? Do you have any tips for great storage solutions or clearing titbits? Why not share them in the comments box below!
Images (c) kreus & DigitalGenetics/Dollar Photo Club