Today we’re talking about an area that most people get overwhelmed in: the office. Whether you’re paying bills or running a business out of a corner of your bedroom, have a room to yourself or have a corner office at your company location, everyone has challenges with their office space. This previous blog post shared tips on storage and cleaning up. Today’s blog post takes some of that information and adds new information to it on how to best use the space you’ve got.
Let’s start by organizing the space you’ve already got. Visit a Dollar Store or Walmart near you. They have lots of great baskets, drawer organizers and tools that will help you take better advantage of your drawers. Don’t have drawers? A small investment in an organizational cart, seen here for $21, will give you the drawer space, or even extra drawer space to better organize your office. Once you’ve got your office organized, and everything put away, the next challenge is to keep it this way. I’ve got 4 tips to help you do exactly that, and save time too!
All of today’s tips center around 1 theme: deal with it as soon as possible and file it away.
First we’re going to approach those drawers again. If you’ve got stuff you use only once every 2 months in them, put that stuff in a separate area, or extra cart in a closet. Don’t waste valuable space right near you to be storage for stuff you don’t use frequently.
Second, don’t waste time keeping files near you that you don’t use frequently. Keep a month’s worth of paper work in a mini file like this and keep the rest in a filing cabinet away from your main office space. Or, if you don’t have a lot of files, keep only 1 year at a time in this file.
Third, each day when the mail comes, or at another time that is more convenient for you, sort through the mail and other papers that are on your desk. File them, shred them, read them, reply to them and do your best to deal with them that day. It will help you to not have built up paper piles on your desk, and it will reduce your procrastination and to-do list, and increase your productivity. Think of this as your super productive hour of communication. It’s also a great time to attend to the emails you’ve received that need to be replied to.
Finally, spend a day at the end of each month putting together receipts, bills, client statements and other important tax documents so it’s not such a challenge at the end of the year. By taking care of it monthly, you’re more likely to remember when things happen, what they’re for and have an easier time recording them. Then file the receipts away, in the larger filing cabinet or boxes, to be put together at year’s end for taxes. With a monthly, not yearly, time perspective, you’re able to be more successful, keep better track of your finances, and save hours or even days of time at the end of the year.
What other areas of your office challenge you? Share your frustrations below.