There is nothing worse than that feeling of not knowing where to begin when you have a lot of things on your to-do list to get through. Whether you are working from home or at the office an organised space can do wonders for your productivity.
Here are 5 great tips on how to have a more productive, organised workspace.
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1. Set your desk up in a way that suits the purpose & use for your work. If your desk or office are used for a purpose other than work (washing, storage, spare room), make clear divisions for each purpose leaving your desk/office area just for your work. This can be achieved by furniture placement, screens or even rugs.
2. Create different zones for all the tasks you need to do. Create a ‘mail zone’ for dealing with incoming mail which will include a shredder and recycling box. Have a zone just for filing that will include a labeller, plastic sleeves and good quality folders. If you often come up with good ideas, or love to clip articles out of magazines, set up a Research area. Make sure that each of these zones has a distinct beginning and end and use containers! Using containers will ensure that you keep account of the volume of stuff you ‘need’.
3. Only have current projects on your desk within reach, everything else can be filed/contained in another area. Sort according to frequency of use and utilise storage solutions such as cupboards, cabinets, shelving with magazine files, letter trays and desk drawers. Setting up a ‘toaster’ rack on your desk means everything you are working on will be on hand. Using attractive containers and files will encourage you to keep things in order. Check out the range of desktop and filing solutions from Caché by Avery™ for some inspiration!
4. Keep the floor as a clear space to walk, NOT as a large storage area! If your floor is littered with things to be done later or belongings that don’t have a home elsewhere (see point 1!) it’s time to grab a laundry basket (or another sturdy container) and garbage bag and get to work on your floor. It is amazing how well you can think when there is nothing on the floor to distract you!
5. Take 15 minutes at the end of each day/work session to return your desk to order. If you have filing, be sure that it is done before you leave your office. If you have been working on a project, put all the bits and pieces back in the toaster rack. Put the phone back in its cradle, pens back in the pen holder and sticky notes back where they live (*NEVER, EVER RETURN PENS THAT DON’T WORK!).
If it’s all too much and you don’t know where to start, hire a qualified Professional Organiser!
Sarah Cottman is an Accredited Expert Professional Organiser. As Vice President of the Australasian Association of Professional Organisers (AAPO) she is passionate about order and loves to organise, motivate and teach the overwhelmed how to get their lives on track! Her Professional Organising Consultancy, Heavenly Order, began in November 2006, assisting clients and training Professional Organisers. With a strong business background, having been self-employed for over 20 years as well as managing a busy family life, she knows first-hand how to achieve a healthy work/life balance. She has a sincere zeal for supporting family life through her work as a Professional Organiser.