You just came back from a long holiday break and your desk and PC await you. If your disorganization and messy work area are making your feel overwhelmed and unproductive, it’s time to make some changes fast.
It may seem impossible to stop what you’re working on and start the cleanup process, but you’ll be better off in the long term. If you just can’t take a breather, wait until the end of the day or come in early the next morning to tackle the items below.
1. Purge the Papers
If you have papers galore surrounding you, go through each item one by one. What doesn’t get tossed needs to go in a folder (color coded if possible) with a name you’ll recognize like “segfried account” or “website maintenance.” Consider keeping an online folder of things you don’t need a printout for.
2. Out of Sight
A cluttered desk can make it difficult to locate anything when you need it, especially items that are right in front of your face. Put only the things you use everyday on your desk (think stapler, Kleenex, coffee mug, pencils, pen, etc) and stash everything else in a desk drawer.
3. Set Email and Phone Timers
It’s hard to get anything done with emails constantly coming through and your phone ringing. Set a timer for 15 minutes (or whatever you feel comfortable with) and then check email or phone messages. Chances are, if it’s truly important, your co-worker can walk over and interrupt you.
4. Organize Desktop Icons
If you’re desktop is filled with so many documents you can’t see the image saved to your background, it’s time to do a cleanup—stat. If you have multiple documents on the same subject, create one folder to store them all in or move them into separate network areas like “My Documents” or “My Pictures.” Try and keep your desktop to a minimum of 10 items. Then, when you need to find something in a hurry, you can actually find them!
5. Take Stock for Tomorrow
You know that colleague with the desk neat-as-a-pin, who never looks stressed out? Chances are she comes in relaxed because she planned for the work day ahead of time. It’s easy to do. Start a list the last 5-10 minutes of your workday on what needs to be accomplished tomorrow and by what time. You won’t have to worry about forgetting anything and you’ll have your work priorities set before your first cup of coffee. Cheers!
Did we miss anything? Share your best office organization tips with us!