For those of you that missed my “Office Organization” Presentation at Small Business Connect last week here is the Cole Notes Version and a link to my Free Cluttered Entrepreneur Special Report.
According to the Wall Street Journal the average executive wastes six weeks per year retrieving misplaced information due to messy desks and files.
I find that a bit frightening as they say Canadians work even more hours. So, business owners how many hours, days and weeks are you wasting of your valuable business time, money or time with friends, family or loved ones looking for important business documents?
A clean desk is no longer the sign of someone with nothing to do, nor is a messy desk the mark of a productive manager. Most of us can think and be more productive and efficient when sitting at a clear, well-organized desk.
Here are your Office Organization Action Tips:
1. Organize your desktop
2. Manage your files
3. Use your space more efficiently
Get your tools together
√ Laundry Basket or Box
√ Wastebasket or garbage bags
√ Recycling Bins
√ Shredder – NON OPTIONAL – A Must for All Professional and Personal Documents with i.e. names, addresses, banking, credit card information
1. Schedule time in your calendar
• Start by blocking 2 hours of uninterrupted time outside of your money making hours.
2. Organize your desktop
• Remove all the clutter from your desktop
• Put everything — work papers, receipts, etc. — in a box
• Remove all items from the office that do not belong there i.e. family photo albums, coffee mugs, tools
• Limit family photos to one or two
• Put plants on the floor
3. Recycle or Toss
• Throw out all items that are garbage
• If it’s not garbage, make a donation to a local charity or have a garage sale
• Use recycling bins for all paper items without any personal information about you or your business
4. Create a shredding pile
• Toss papers with personal information into an old box or laundry basket – for large amounts of paper call an onsite shredding company
Here is what your desk looks like now.
5. Manage your files
• Keep your personal and business files separate
• Remove all tax documents from your office at year end
• Remove client or business files that you are no working with
• Keep only those things that you currently work on or need easy access to in your office
• Put things back immediately after you are finished with them
6. At the end of your office day
• Set up a 15-minute appointment with yourself to file or put away any additional items. Your office is closed and your work is out of sight, out of mind.
7. Efficient use of Space
• Make sure that your office is well lit
• Track lighting generates good light
• Replace with a laptop when upgrading your computer
• Consider all-in-one equipment
• Closets are great for office organization. You can store office supplies, resource manuals, cameras and other business tools
• Install adjustable shelving
Replace the door handle with a key lock handle and you will have your additional business or personal information secured.