If you need to work from home it is important to have a dedicated office space or area that is well designed. If your work area is not setup well or you over time your stuff becomes disorganized it will eventually affect your productivity in a bad way. In order to focus on getting work done and reduce distractions, here are a few tips to help you maximize your office design.
Before tackling a home office organization project keep in mind that everything doesn’t have to be done in one day. If your current office is pretty messy it can be easy to become discouraged and just give up. Instead, focus in on one or two areas at a time knowing that after a week or even three you will be in a much better place.
The first project to tackle should be paperwork. Most people working at home find that a pile of papers will quickly develop on their desktop and finding anything becomes more and more difficult. Go through any papers you have and try to get rid of as much as possible. If you still have a lot of documents you need to keep you may want to consider buying some type of document scanner. This way you can store a copy of important papers on your computer and either discard the originals or store them somewhere else.
After clearing out the paper clutter it is time to evaluate your desktop space. Make sure that every item has a home and doesn’t just end up strewn about the desk. Buy a small organizer for pens and paper clips or just find an old cup if you are on a budget. If you are a sticky note kind of person, try to consolidate your little notes in an organized manner by either switching to a notepad or placing your sticky notes into a notebook.
Is your desktop space crammed? In addition to your computer you may have a printer and scanner and perhaps some type of filing units, but you may not need everything all on your desk. You may have a pile of old photos and slides you are scanning with your best film to digital converter. You should have enough space immediately around your computer to work as well as keep a daily planner or scratch paper. If space is too tight, consider moving some items to a new location whether it be a stand for your printer or some shelving to house filing units and other necessities.
The key to having an organized office is to have a system for keeping it organized. Make sure you establish an ongoing system for dealing with incoming documents to avoid establishing a brand new pile of papers and clutter. The easiest way is to go through your paperwork each week and discard what you don’t need and either scan or file away what you do need. By staying on top of incoming papers you will be able to keep your workspace organized and maintain a productive work place.
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