Think archeological dig, uncover, discover what you can do to expand your office space as the year is coming to an end. Step 1: Photograph your office space to “see” it objectively.
Step 2: Check out what that photo reveals about the “nest of your life.” Do you now see reasons behind the frustration you may experience when you have to root among piles of stuff in and around your office?
Step 3: Tackle that stack of mail, magazines, newspapers sitting on the desk or floor. Now follow the Rule of the Fingers: once you touch one of these items, do something with it other than moving it to another place. You can do this.
Step 4: Open the mail, sort, determine what needs immediate attention. Toss the junk mail you haven’t gotten to, the magazines, newspapers you haven’t read for weeks, months. Dedicate just 15 minutes every day and you will establish a routine that will make conquering the mail something you know you can handle. You have created space. It’s time to reward yourself with something that gives you pleasure: a walk, a call to a friend, an online catchup chat.
Step 5: Look at the items on your desk and around it. Is your printer easily within reach? Is your paper supply near it? Re-arrange to make a “circle of ease” that is your work area. Step 6: Think Like with Like. Collect office supply items like paper clips, staples, scotch tape, pens and provide appealing “homes” for them within easy reach. Think about how to arrange often-used items to make your office sphere comfortable and accessible.
Step 7: Confront your file cabinet, see what’s in there and review those files. Are your personal papers organized according to important life areas: medical, financial, insurance, pets and home records, etc. Are your file folders tabs readable? Try color coding them to make finding them easier.
Step 8: Everything in your office has a “shelf life” so determine what is “must have”, what can be shredded, shared with friends, family, discarded. Check with your lawyer and/or accountant re what must be retained and for how long.
Step 9: Create a work zone free of paper, food, distractions. Keep it clean and cleared so your “office visit” becomes a welcoming place to work.
Step 10: You are on your way. Remember -- disorganization is a time waster, an anxiety producer that emerges when you can’t find those essential papers, photos, files that you must have. That alone is incentive enough to keep your office in order.
To Sum Up: Take an “after” photo. Compare to the “before” photo. Aha! By taming your office space, it now works for you, not the other way round. Bonus, more room for you. Office happiness is at your fingertips. And you have a beginning strategy and a place to start.