Brought To You By Emily Parks
Productivity Consultant at Organize For Success, LLC...
Helping You Make Every Minute Matter!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Organize Your Home Office

Whether your home office is simply where you take care of the mail and pay each month's bills or is the spot in which you complete all the tasks of your full-time occupation, having an organized environment in which you can find anything needed at the exact moment you need it is extremely important. Such an environment can be good for your mental and physical health, can lower your stress, can improve your efficiencies and can provide you with extra time for doing the things you really enjoy in life, rather than just the things you "have to do" in life. Here are a few tips for achieving that environment:

Clutter is the result of postponed decisions... Whether it is paper, an electronic file, a tool used to perform your job, postage to mail checks in paying your bills or the information that fills your home daily, give items a "home" so you will know the answer of what to do with them upon receipt and after each use.

Use just one notebook for recording all messages (phone, exchanged face-to-face, transferrred from email or snail mail...) and for keeping all your notes together, rather than posting sticky notes everywhere.

Keep email manageable by retaining only those necessary and dealing with action items as quickly as possible, wether creating a task assigned to a specific time or completing the necessary action immediately. If the requested action takes less than 5 minutes, do it now; if longer time is required, schedule accordingly. Then, since the most recent message of a back-and-forth conversation usually includes the content of all previous messages, keep only the most recent and adjust each subject line to better indicate the content for easier locating later.

Make sure to keep only one calendar / planner... Anything more leads to forgotten commitments, appointments falling through the cracks and unnecessary stress... Plus, incorporate color whenever possible. For example, add items from the same area of your life in the same color of ink to show they are of the same facet in your life.

When naming paper and electronic files, balance carefully between generic and specific. You want each item to be filed fitting within one fo the files available, but you do not want any item to be filed abled to fit in multiple file options. Furthermore, be certain to use the same names in both paper and electronic filing systems, streamlining things.

These are just a few ideas to get you rolling along, but what are some of your favorite techniques? How do you organize your home office? Can't wait to hear all your ideas!
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