Spring Office CleaningMarch 19, 2011
How many of you have more responsibilities today than you did a year ago? A virtual show of hands proves the answer is everyone! While I can’t do much about that, I can help you set yourself up for success when it comes to getting it all done. We’re all busy, but if you commit to set aside one day to organize your work space and put some effective systems in place for keeping it organized, you will spend less time digging and more time accomplishing your goals.
Small and infrequently used items such as paper clips should go in your desk drawer. The top of your desk should be for things you are working on that day. Nothing else. Otherwise you become distracted and fall off your schedule for accomplishing the day’s priorities. Move bulky items such as inbox trays, file folders and printers onto bookshelves.
Do you have that pile of cords on your floor and or draping off your desk? This looks messy and in turn sends a message of disorganization to your customers and coworkers. Control your cords! You can buy a fairly inexpensive cord holder that will keep everything together and out of the way.
Paper is a Fashion Don’t
Keep in mind that 80% of paper you file, is never looked at again. Today, technology is allowing us to create digital storage and by creating a good back up system, we are more comfortable going paperless in our leasing offices. Often times, digital storage is faster to access saving you time in your day for other things, like figuring out what to do with the fax machine you have not used in 5 months.
Every desk will inevitably still have some paper. Don’t let it take over your desk. Keep hanging files with these four categories: action, project, reference, and cluster. The cluster file may be new for you. It is one of my favorite time management techniques. When you know you have a big project coming up like writing your marketing plan, keep a file that contains notes, ideas, resources and gems. Now, when you sit down to embark on the project you will have an amazing jump start on getting your project underway. Clustering is also a good cure for procrastination.
Now that you are on your way to a solid spring cleaning, maintain order by instituting this three fold approach to staying organized:
1. Daily – every night, clean up your desk. Organize papers, files and projects so when you come in tomorrow your desk is ready for immediate action.
2. Quarterly – take and hour or so to see what systems need re-engineering and organizing. If everything is not working the way you would like it to, stop wasting time with inefficiencies and make necessary adjustments.
3. Yearly – between December and February is the time when you should annually purge old papers and files from your work area. Do it in these slower months so that when leasing picks up in March you are working in tip top shape.