“For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned.” ~ Benjamin Franklin
Let’s talk organizing your workspace. Would you consider it calm or chaotic? Do you find you can be productive at your desk? Does the set up work for you? Or are you often working in another space or wasting time searching for documents, files, or supplies?
Recently, I appeared on the UK-based podcast The Simplifiers with host Mary Baird-Wilcock. Mary and I discussed where to start creating a system to organize your space, how to manage paper, and how to maintain your efforts.
Even if you feel completely comfortable in a chaotic workspace, a few tweaks here and there will help you with efficiency and productivity. And show your boss you care. ? You can watch my interview with Mary below:
Here are some of the highlights from my discussion with Mary:
CREATING A SYSTEM FOR YOUR WORKSPACE
- Organizing your space is personal to your style and preferences. If something isn’t working for you, tweak it or try something different. There is something out there that will work for you.
- Keep it simple at the beginning. Baby steps make creating new habits easier. And it will be easier to maintain.
- To figure out your personal system, start by figuring out the basics you NEED to do your work. Put those items in the closest proximity to your workspace.
- Next, figure out what items you use occasionally. Things you access on a weekly or monthly basis. Those items can be placed further away from your primary workspace. But still convenient enough to access when you need them.
- Finally, determine what items would be rarely needed. Create a space out of the way for archival and reference items. This way you have them on hand if you need them. But they aren’t cluttering up your prime workspace.
- Schedule a specific time to organize and reset your workspace. This will ensure you can follow all the steps of pulling items out, sorting like with like, purging what you don’t need, and assigning where items will now live.
PAPER MANAGEMENT FOR YOUR WORKSPACE
- Touch paper as few times as possible when it arrives on your desk. Break it into 3 categories:
- Recycle or pitch items you know you won’t need or need to address.
- File or assign items that have a specific place or person to process them
- Determine a course of action for items that need attention. Consider using desktop files with action words for the labels. Words like “email”, “call”, or pay work well.
- Determine your best method for storing paper. Are you a piler or a filer? It doesn’t matter how you keep it. Just create a specific place for items to go so you, and those in your office, will know where to find it when you need it.
MAINTAINING AN ORGANIZED WORKSPACE
- How do you maintain the space you’ve spent time organizing? You have to make the time to do it.
- Schedule time for regular resets to refresh the space. It is also a great time to tweak systems to make sure they are working for you.
- The more often you reset the space, the less time it will take.
Organizing your workspace will help you find what you need. It will help you do more in less time. You will feel more in control and less stress. Organizing your workspace is always worth the time investment.
Want time management and productivity tips? Check out my “Mom Productivity Tips” chat with productivity expert Brittany Dixon.