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

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Is Your Office Organized as a Tool for Your Success?

While many people focus on team members, processes and technology as the best tools for driving desired results, the space in which you work can be another tool in your productivity toolbox. Just as important as "what" you keep is "where" you keep it all, and there are key concepts to keep in mind as you organize your office for your greatest success. In celebration of today's National Organize Your Home Office Day, let's look at manageable steps you can take to organize your workspace.

First, retain only what's accurate, applicable, useful or bringing you joy. That rule of thumb applies to paper, electronic files, email and physical objects alike. The less you retain then the less you have to dig through in order to find what's needed, which makes it easier to get things done more quickly.

Second, be strategic about the placement of anything and everything to remain in your workspace. Assign homes to what you will keep. When everything has a home and everything is in its home, it's easier to quickly put your hands on what's needed when it's needed. Likewise, group like items together, assigning homes that place any paper, electronic files, email or physical objects near where they will be needed or used.

Third, contain what you retain in appropriate storage tools to create applicable limits. Physical items can go in bins, baskets and boxes. Paper can go in files and folders. Electronic files can go in cloud storage solutions... The key is to train yourself to purge or divide once the storage tool gets full.

Remember that labels and color enhance the effectiveness of your organizational solutions. For example, adding a label to anything helps you more easily determine what it contains and where to put what is newly arrived in your workspace. In the same way, assigning color drives behavior, particularly when you associate a color you like with contents for an action you avoid.

Utilize the mantra "horizontal is hidden; vertical is visible"... Whether you choose a vertical file holder for your desktop or baskets with labels on the front to fill your shelves, focus solutions on avoiding piles. Plus, consider how you can best utilize the walls and door of your office for additional storage space, making it easy to see at a glance what belongs where.

As if you were considering a real estate purchase, think "location, location, location" when organizing your office. The space in closest proximity to where you are most often working should be utilized for what you use most frequently. As you move away from that space, you should start with current, active files and move towards archive files that are less frequently accessed.

Finally, always remember "the power of one". While many folks say that one is a lonely number, I contend that one is a very powerful number when associated with productivity. This means one calendar, one running list of tasks to be done, one daily to-do list, one "data dump" for all your information, one address book, one weekly strategy session and one system for all your filing.

What techniques do you utilize for keeping your workspace productive and how do you maintain your organization?

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