Having a functional and clutter-free workspace is one of the best things you can do to create an environment that promotes the efficient management of your work and in essence, your employees. Most of us can benefit from some desk decluttering from time to time, but there are a number of ways to keep this cleaning and purging process quick and infrequent, saving you time and resources.
Your desk is a tool to facilitate your work. It is not a storage tool and was not constructed for holding up endless stacks of paper and gadgets. Ideally, the only thing that belongs on your desk is what you are currently working on. We don’t live in an ideal world, but that would produce the highest level of workspace efficiency.
There are two basic rules for optimal desk organization:
- The most frequently used items must occupy the most convenient accessed space. The desk drawer that is easiest to access should hold the most frequently used tools or supplies. Prioritize your storage space by ease of accessibility and then do the same with your supplies and tools.
- Always return an item to its place immediately after its use. Don’t put it down anywhere else. Always put it back in its proper place. Rule 1 gets you organized and rule 2 keeps you organized.
With your in-box on your desk, there is always the risk of becoming distracted with conversation when people want to chat when they bring you something. If possible, put a hot file on the wall outside your office, or leave the in-box with a receptionist or in the mailroom. But by all means, get it out of your sight so you are not interrupted.
Two items that will help you stay organized are vertical magazine holders and a vertical paper or document holder. Always avoid horizontal stacks. Keep everything vertical where you can see it. The danger with horizontal piles is that documents are out of sight, out of mind. We don’t want to lose or forget things and vertical storage eliminates almost all of the lost paper problems.
One of the easiest ways to accumulate clutter is using multiple note pads. No more sticky notes! Commit to one place where you write down all reminders and tasks. It will help you to see everything you need to accomplish and keep your desk clear of extra papers.
Consider a side table or credenza to store and organize some of the less frequent items you have in your office. Put it behind you or next to the desk, but not on top of the desk. Remember, your desk is a tool to facilitate your work, not a platform for holding piles of paper and gadgets.
We all know them. The “pilemaniacs” of your team. The individuals whose desks are constantly covered with piles upon piles of documents, paperwork, and notes. Most of us have had moments where we have spent time looking for an important document, you KNOW it is somewhere in your office, but where the heck did you put it?!
This month we are going to discuss a variety of practical and proven skills and activities that can help you become a more effective manager through useful organizational techniques. We would all like to be more productive, to have more time to get work done. Through the application of a few of these organizational “clean up” methods, you can establish a work environment (both from a physical and time management standpoint) that encourages productivity and efficiency.
There are four critical areas that will we will address in this month’s series. Your work space, your paperwork, your tasks, and your time. Each of these areas can be well organized and run smoothly, or can end up being a source of stress and anxiety for you. We are striving to arm you with the resources to ensure the former is the primary occurrence in your office.
Managerial Organizational Skills is part of HRCentral’s Professional Management Training series. With a focus on providing managers and organizations with the resources and tools necessary to effectively manage their employees, HRCentral specializes in training on a variety of topics that are vital to the success of any manager, including communication skills, conflict resolution, and empowering employees. Contact us today for more information on how we can work with your managers to create a professional, productive, and peaceful workplace.
None of us want to admit we’re disorganized, but the reality is that a large portion of the workforce is not nearly organized enough. P-Touch conducted a survey in 2010, demonstrating that employees looking for lost or misplaced items (only one consequence of disorganization) cost US organizations over 89 billion dollars. (more…)
We all have off days. As we discussed in a previous article, “Check Eeyore at the Door,” there are a number of ways to ensure that your off days don’t negatively affect your work environment. These methods included: Understanding the Outcome of Your Negativity, Looking for the Good, Resisting Sarcasm, and Making Positivity a Priority. While all of these techniques are certainly effective when you are already at work, what can you do to prevent yourself from getting to that negative mindset in the first place? What little things can you incorporate into your daily life to boost your levels of happiness and, ideally, keep you from turning into Eeyore? We recommended five ways to help maintain a certain level of optimism that you can incorporate into your daily life: (more…)