With a jam-packed to-do list, it seems like you never have time for organizing your office. And, studies and studies keep proving that we can’t be more productive if everything around us is disorganized. Getting organized doesn’t mean spending hours cleaning your space or writing your weekly schedule. It may take less than 15 minutes per day to transform yourself into the most productive version of you. Read on.
1. Start with the tiniest items
Before you let those tiny things disappear in a pile of papers, gather them and put them where they belong to be. You’ll need less than 2 minutes to accomplish this task, but this will play a significant role in your entire day.
2. Detoxify your office
Is Wi-Fi off? Why not get the most benefit from it? It’s important to detoxify your office at least once a week. Not only will you feel organized, but you will become more organized. Take a look around your working space and see what you don’t need here anymore. It might be hard to throw away something that meant to you a lot 10 years ago, but if you don’t need it, why do you keep cluttering your space?
Get rid of the old in order to let the new in. If you haven’t used any supplies, equipment, or piece of furniture for a long while or your office decorations don’t inspire you anymore, donate them or throw them away.
3. Invest in a label maker
How many minutes or hours do you spend looking for the document on shelves or in drawers? What about buying a labeler? Organize your stuff and label everything so that you could get what you need within a few seconds. Place documents or supplies you often use within reach. If you don’t have drawers or shelves, you can use office baskets or folders instead.
4. Organize your computer
It’s not easy to get paper documents in order. However, when it comes to online files, it might be a whole disaster. No matter how cluttered your computer is, find time to organize it. This will help you be more efficient and work faster as you’ll know where each document is located.
In case your filing system is messy, consider creating several major folders, such as “Meeting folder,” “Urgent documents,” “Archives,” etc. If you work from home on your personal computer, you can either create two major folders like “Job” and “Home” with sub-folders, or divide your desktop into two parts. Be sure you keep your desktop organized on a daily or weekly basis.
5. Pay attention to your inboxes
If you receive a lot of emails, create a few folders to know which emails must be answered urgently and which ones require additional information for a reply. It’s easy to get lost and miss an important email when you have hundreds of them with dozens popping up each hour. In order to be productive with reading and replying to emails, it’s important to keep your inboxes organized.
You can sort your emails depending on which one requires action, quick response, delegation, filing, or just reading. Don’t forget about trash and archives. Move old emails to archives if you’re sure you’re done with those conversations. Spam is a huge problem, so be careful. You can opt for the filter system if you’re very tight on time.
6. Label documents you can throw out
When organizing your documents and folders, consider marking ones that you can throw away after a certain period of time. Consider it as an expiration date. In a few months or years, you won’t need to rack your brains thinking about when this document was printed or whether you need that old folder at all.
7. Get a printing station
If you print a lot of documents and have a variety of printer supplies, consider creating a compact printing station. If you have a small office or working space, it’d be great if you invest in a wireless printer that you can place anywhere – even in your cabinet. By removing a printer from your desk, your working area will look more organized.
8. Use your wall space
People working in a small office often deal with clutter and mess because they have trouble hiding unnecessary stuff and organizing piles of documents. Are you one of them? What about your wall space? You can add an extra shelf for office supplies or documents. Moreover, you can use your wall space for hanging your filing system, inspirational boards, or a calendar.
9. Hide your wires
Your office space will instantly look more organized if you hide all those wires lying around your desk. You might think that those wires have nothing to do with your productivity level, but they do. They create visual clutter, which triggers stress. If you can’t fully hide your wires, you can at least use binder clips to keep them together.
10. Get an undershelf basket
When you have a small desk in the office, it’s hard to keep stuff organized. An undershelf basket is budget-friendly and it can store tons of documents or office supplies. Plus, it allows you to store all important documents within a reach.
11. Get a mason jar
Mason jars aren’t only for saving money. You can use it in the office for storing receipts and small warranty papers. Despite living in a digital world, paper receipts are still critically important – especially, if you’re an entrepreneur. It guarantees that you won’t lose your receipt or any other similar document. You can also use small mason jars for storing office supplies.
If you feel less productive or you’re not inspired to head to your office each morning, it might be an indication that you should get more organized. Get into a habit of cleaning your desk before you go home. When you get back there in the morning, you’re more likely to feel motivated and work more productively. Feel free to come up with your own organizing ideas that will make your office more inspiring for you.