Nothing stymies productivity quite like clutter; it distracts you and interferes with your workflow, and it only goes away if you do something about it. Clearing the clutter from your workspace should not be used as an excuse to avoid work, and if you get into the habit of maintaining a more organized office you also end up creating a naturally clutter free space.
Maintaining an organized office can be achieved by implementing three simple steps that should become part of your daily routine.
-1- Implement a Paper Flow System
The most common form of clutter is paper work; whether it is client proposals, business cards, bills, receipts or your notes for future projects, paper has a way of filling up all available space. Create a designated space for each document type and begin clearing your desk of all paperwork, placing each item into its newly designated home.
Naturally some of this paperwork will still need to be processed, so you should also schedule a specific time and day each week when you will process each document type, before filing it properly, or recycling/shredding it.
Have you thought about going paperless? Once you have a paper flow system in place, taking it a step further to go paperless is much easier. Contact us if you would like to schedule some time to talk about going paperless.
-2- Eliminate Clutter Hot Spots
Even after you have created designated homes for the various documents that pass across your desk each day, you will probably discover a hot spot on your desk that seems to still attract paperwork. Eliminate this by filling the space with an object such as a vase of freshly cut flowers, or a framed family photograph – something that inspires you rather than adding to the clutter.
Identify other hot spots in your office and do the same; sometimes this might involve removing a piece of furniture, and that is perfectly acceptable. If the piece of furniture was no longer being used properly then it should be removed completely, or else it will continue to attract clutter.
-3- Clear Your Inbox
This method applies to both your email inbox and the inbox tray on your desk. Process all mail and paperwork according to four categories – trash, to-do, file and follow-up. Trash is self-explanatory, while to-do will be all tasks that should be added to your schedule. File will be all paperwork and email that is effectively completed, but may need to be referred to in future, and follow-up is any tasks and projects already in progress that require future action.
End each day by processing your inbox, it shouldn’t take longer than 15 minutes, and you will not only start each day with a clutter free environment, you will also have a to-do list of tasks for that day.
Add these three steps to your daily routine and in a very short time you will have formed a new habit, and find yourself always working in a clutter-free space.
About Out of the Office Virtual Assistance:
At Out of the Office, we are committed to providing earth-friendly administration and offer ideas and ways to increase your productivity, decrease your workload, and work more efficiently. We nurture a successful business relationship, while continuing to grow as your business partner. We are focused on streamlining your administration, social media planning and execution, and offering creative solutions for your business success.
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