When we are not organized, things get lost. Then we waste time trying to find them. In fact, we waste a good deal of time – studies show that employees use up about two weeks worth of time at work looking for stuff, resulting in lost time and money.
Not only that, other research has shown that people who work in cluttered work spaces are less productive than those who have more organized work stations.
Here are some ideas from professionals about how to stay better organized.
1. One place for everything
Each item should have a designated place where it is kept when not in use. You should always place the item in its designated location after using it. That way, you will never lose it. You will always know exactly where its at. This applies not only to devices but paperwork.
2. Get rid of stuff
Get rid of what you don’t want, don’t need, or don’t use. Do not let it simply take up space in your work station and gather dust. Throw it out or donate it or recycle it.
3. Aim higher
Use vertical storage devices. These are things like shelves, wall baskets, wall-mounted file folders, and the like. These are great for organizing for two reasons. One, they help to save space by going up instead of out.
Two, you can store those items you don’t use that often in the upper or lower spaces, saving the middle, easy-to-reach spots for things you do use a lot.
4. Label your stuff
This makes it easier to identify, easier to find, easier to see. It will help you stay better organized.
5. Have a container for meeting materials
If you usually have difficulty located the materials you need for an upcoming meeting, have a bin specifically for that purpose. As you think of things you need for a meeting, put them into the meeting bin. Then, when it’s time for the meeting, all you have to do is reach into the bin, grab your materials, and go.
6. Keep a folder for upcoming projects
Maintain a folder for projects or tasks that you expect to get to shortly.
7. Keep a notebook handy
You can use it to make notes during phone calls and to keep a record of your calls. It will also be useful for jotting down reminders or ideas that might pop into your head.
8. Organize or work station before you leave for the day
Take a few minutes at the end of the day to clear the clutter. That way, you will arrive at work to a nice, neat work station, ready to get started.