The year is quickly coming to a close and I can’t think of a better way to end 2016 than to organize yourself in preparation for 2017. Before I was a professional organizer I worked several jobs in corporate America. The number one thing that kept me sane and on top of my workload, and gained praise from my coworkers and superiors, was my ability to keep projects and my workspace organized. If you’re wondering how to conquer the clutter in your office, let me give you some organizing advice.
Create and maintain a filing system. Whether you’re paperless or not, having labeled folders (virtual or in a filing cabinet) is essential to maintaining project clutter and aiding in retrieving information. Create a folder for each project or client and file away corresponding communication and documents. Imagine how productive you would feel upon opening your email to an inbox containing only current issues. Think of how easy it would be to find a file by opening your filing cabinet rather than shuffling through papers on your desk.
Manage your time effectively. Create a schedule for yourself at the end of the day that will detail your next day. Block off time where you will only respond to emails, work on a project, or meet with coworkers. Multitasking is not favorable to productivity. Focus on one task at a time and schedule buffer time to cover any issues that arise and need your attention immediately.
Clear your desk. A clear desk is paramount to productivity and professionalism. File away the papers cluttering your desk and use an inbox to corral incoming paperwork. Put office supplies away in a desk drawer. Recycle and toss trash and finished projects. The only things out on your desk should be beautiful and useful. Put up a family photo if you wish and only have your current projects on your desk when you’re working on them, otherwise those too should be filed away.
I spent all of my 20s and early 30s working in an office and no matter what company or position I was in, maintaining order in my projects and office space helped me succeed. I am confident that you too will increase productivity by just simply becoming organized.