Whether it is your home office, your small business office or your corporate office, getting down to business at your desk is a chore if it is piled with papers! Establishing a comfortable area for paper work and other office activities is important for productivity.
Create a Work Zone
As you begin, determine what tasks you are doing in your office and the tools needed for these tasks. By making these decisions at the outset, you are preparing your space for accomplishment. Create areas designating the best access for most frequent activities. As for room arrangement, place your desk in a position that allows maximum use of natural light. Position the desk in a direct ion that allows for direct viewing of all who enter without you having to turn.
Desk drawers should have only what you use at the desk in them. Store your additional office supplies in another area. Keep specific categories of items individually stored in different drawers. One drawer should contain checks and bill paying items, one drawer stationary and note pads, one drawer with a pencil tray holding pencils, pens, tape, stapler and scissors. Again, keep just enough to use and not over stuff the drawers. Place books on book shelves, magazines or reading material in a basket to grab and go. Be sure that your telephone, computer and other essentials are placed easily in reach.
A Personalized Paper Plan
A “paper plan” is most important in this work zone. Create an area for “Action” files. This is a temporary home where papers live until either filed away or thrown away. Papers used frequently or that are a “hot topic” need a basket, vertical file, or other space on your desk. Label them according to what actions or terms fit best with your needs. These files can be call, file, mail, or pay. Or these can be named by client name, project name, or other key word that comes to mind quickly. Clearly label your files so you will always know what is in them, and just as importantly, the labels will remind you what not to put in them.
Organize with access in mind
Arrange for the placement of frequently used files to be placed in the desk’s file drawer. Less frequently accessed files can be placed in a separate filing cabinet. As for filing cabinets, use a low-lying, two-drawer cabinet that can be placed next to or near your desk for the added use of its top for other items that you often need.
Your filing system should be simple easy and manageable. Create categories in your files for the different major work/home areas. For work it may be clients, administrative, financial. For home it may be home/auto, personal, and financial. Use general key words that come to mind quickly, and sub categorize as needed. An example would be Car – insurance, Car – maintenance, or Insurance – Car, Insurance – Home. Think about how YOU think about the paper to find it. Color-coding your files makes it faster to find information. Use one color hanging file to easily slip information into a file. Label the file with a tab using a label maker! Decide when papers go into an archive area. These are papers you seldom access, but need to keep. Arrange for storage in the least accessible drawer, in a file box in the top of a closet, or at an auxiliary location.
Maximize your space to maximize productivity! A clear desk makes it easy to sit down and get started on your work.