When organizing your office, the only items that should be within arms reach are what you use everyday. Now that you possess this information, sit in your desk chair, put your arms out in front of you, and swing 360 degrees. If you’re putting your hands on or near items you’re not using daily/weekly, they can be stored in another space, leaving you to focus on the tasks at hand.
Next step is to eliminate unneeded papers that have likely wound up in stacks. Here’s what you need to know…
There are truly only three things you can do with paper:
1. Toss – Anything that can be easily duplicated does not need to be saved. If it’s a marketing offer and you’re not “looking” for that item, toss it. Magazines, tear out the pages that interest you, and toss the outdated issue.
2. File – Two ways to file: Action and Reference. Action files are the files in your desk drawer: that file drawer should NOT contain anything that’s not used at least weekly. Reference files are just that, for referring to: Paid bills, copies of insurance policies, legal document, mortgage information, etc. That said, your Reference filing cabinet could go anywhere. I suggest, however, that if you decide to place it in the guest room closet, make sure you can lock it. Not to say that family and friends are snoops, but this is for your peace of mind.
3. Act – These papers are the papers that you must Act on, including phone calls to make, letters and emails, to be written, blogs to written, etc. Stack these papers, enter each task on your Master To Do List, then place the back up in a file. When it comes time to take the Action, pull out the piece of paper associated with the Task.
So I challenge you to shrink your existing work space even if you do have room for everything. Purge papers, toss or archive out-of-date calendars and those dreaded Yellow Pages phone books (which we really don’t need anymore because of the Internet), archive your old paid bills, and just generally declutter. What most don’t realize is that the clutter becomes something that you can get used to…unfortunately. Once you’ve decluttered an adjusted to your new surroundings, you’ll be surprised at how much more focused you will actually be!
Questions, comments…please enter them below.