Saturday, 28 September 2013

8 Tips to Organize Your Office and Get More Done

If you think you are too busy to organize your office desk, think again. Clutter increases the time you spend looking for the required item; thus, little gets done. Moreover, clean space is visually pleasing and productive. Now don’t befool yourself by rearranging things or hiding a pile of paper in a drawer. De-cluttering a space is your first step to make it practical.

Organizing your office doesn’t have to be scary; especially, if you go by it slowly –focusing on one area at a time. Once you de-clutter a space, maintain it on daily basis instead of deferring the cleanup until weekend. Now if you are ready, follow these simple yet effective tips to transform your workspace.

Revaluate your items:

Our brain tricks us into thinking that every item of office is important; thus, we keep on piling up papers, hesitate throwing extra pens, and continue messing up our office desk. Ask yourself strictly about every item, “Do you ACTUALLY need it or you think you MIGHT need it one day?” if you can’t precisely determine when you are going to need a particularly item, show it a way out.

Give everything a home:

After purging your supplies, group similar items together. For example, all stationery at one place, papers at another. Unless you don’t assign every item a home, it will keep on wandering everywhere. When deciding on where to keep an item, considering what kind of activity happens in every area helps. Take your desk as a main workspace area and place items that you require often while working in close proximity. For example, stationery, printer, phone etc.

Things that you use occasionally, but not as frequently as stationery, can be stored in reference area – A filing cabinet, drawer, shelves, binders and/or even below desk area.

Properly Label Files:

Many people believe labeling to be unnecessary especially when according to them they know what they can expect to see in a specific drawer or file. Well the truth, relying on memory seldom helps. As number of files in our drawer grows, we have hard time recalling and maintaining office supplies. When you create zones, and assign home, it’s better to label them.

Review your filing system:

Sanity check to see how well an office is organized is to inspect the soundness of the filing system. If every paper produced in your office knows its place before and after processing, you have a fairly organized system.

Important and On-hold Folder:

Keep two files / Folders on your desk. Every paper, bill, notice or memo that comes to your office should go in either of these two folders. If it requires urgent action, put it in “important” folder and if that paper requires your attention whenever you are free, put in in on-hold folder. After processing, punch that piece of paper in appropriate box file.

Clean off your desk:

After every two hours, straighten your desk. Leave only those items on table, that belongs to the desk and re-place every other item that is lying on your table. Standing up for filing processed paper, throwing garbage in the dustbin will not only clean off your desk but would also give you break for 5 – 10 minutes.

Separate files for different project:

Being in finance department, I naturally have to deal with many more papers than those in other departments. Unless I made separate files for different projects, I always ended up in mess. Finding required paper left me no choice but to waster significant amount of precious time. Now I have properly labeled files for every ongoing project that has every paper related to that project. And I find myself actually working instead of shuffling piles.

Take care of wires:

Tripping over wires is hazardous. Reducing the number of cables and wires is important. Future articles will give you many tips on organizing wires. But for now, try using as many wireless devices as you possible can afford - Starting from mouse, keyboard and printer. Bind extra wires a rubber band and store them in tackle boxes to keep out of sight.


Keeping your office organized is a habit that once developed pays you off big time. You don’t miss deadlines just because you couldn’t find the necessary documents and you also get to enjoy peace of mind. Take it slowly as it’s one of your ongoing projects and handle one area at a time.

Pictures Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

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