Welcome to guest writer, George Baker, who gives us some handy tips on how to save time and avoid stress by getting our papers into order.
Organization in the work place is essential to effective productivity. A messy desk can lead to frustration and stress when you are unable to retrieve time-sensitive files and important information. It is very easy to become disorganized.
As new projects and assignments are implemented in day-to-day transactions, it can become very easy to pile papers up to file later in the day. What happens most often is that more urgent projects or spontaneous assignments in need of immediate completion get in the way and can distract you from proper filing. This creates a snowball effect. Work continues to pile up, and the result is that of a messy, crowded, disorganized work station.
Fortunately, there are several simple tricks and tips to organizing your office records and keeping a tidy work station.
1. Get A Thirty One Day Folder
One of the best ways to organize office files is to buy a thirty-one day file folder, available at most office supply stores. These inexpensive folders offer a day for each day of the month to put files into. Bills, paperwork, and files needing to be completed can be placed in the appropriate day of the month and filed away or addressed on that date.
This is a very simple tactic that can save stress and time, as filing in this way allows you to essentially put items out of sight and out of mind until they need to be addressed. The file folder looks attractive while serving organizational purposes at the same time.
2. Create An Effective System
Developing a consistent naming system for electronic copies of documentation can be extremely helpful to those locating files in your absence. Having a universal naming or coding system can help co-workers locate files both on the computer, in properly-named folders, and in filing cabinets, where important hard copies of documents are located.
3. Get Rid Of Clutter
Purging duplicate copies and unnecessary extra pieces of paper can save huge amounts of time and help you stay organized at work. Taking notes is a critical part of any desk-related job. Phone conversations, conversations with co-workers, and e-mail correspondence often lead to many notes being jotted down on scraps of paper or larger sheets of paper.
A great solution is to purge any extra copies of documents and transfer notes to a designated notebook. The notebook should be easily accessible on the desk, and serve as a “catch-all” for any brief correspondence or notes pertaining tidbits of important information. Address the notebook once or twice a day to ensure that any important issues have been handled.
Then, you can cross off each entry, or transfer important information into e-files or hard copies. After this is done, you can cross of the entry entirely. Once the notebook is filled, throw it away and buy a new one to keep handy.
4. Try Labels
Labelling shelves, notebooks, cabinets, and individual files is one of the most important ways to maintain office space organization. There are probably many times during the day when you are sidetracked with important tasks and may accidentally misplace a document, file, notebook, or folder.
A quick glance at a shelf labelled, “Personnel,” should reveal personnel-related files. If anything on that shelf is related to anything other than personnel files, those items should be removed and put in their proper place. When someone is sidetracked, they may accidentally place something in the wrong place.
If shelves are properly labelled and coordinating products are located on the shelves, it is very easy to locate a misplaced item, should it get mixed up with otherwise organized items.
5. Date Your Papers
Dating papers is another effective organizational tool to implement. It only takes a moment of your time, and results in essentially time-stamping documents according to their urgency. Using this system in conjunction with the above mentioned calendar file folder will ensure that deadlines are not missed, and encourages proper correspondence.
Office organization does not have to be a mundane part of working in an office. With simple and effective organizational strategies that are implemented throughout the day, you can save time and avoid the stress that is associated with having a messy work station.
Related articles: The financial benefits of decluttering your workspace