If you’ve ever struggled to locate paperwork or find a place on your desk to work, you’re not alone. We’ve all been there, promising ourselves to organize our workspace once the work slows down.
In the chaos of a busy week and overwhelming workloads, keeping your workspace tidy is usually the last thing on your mind. And while it takes time to organize your space, it saves you time in the long run. An organized space can be helpful in staying productive, focused, and on schedule. Keep your workspace organized with these simple tricks.
Determine What You Need
Go through your items and determine what you must keep and, more importantly, what you can get rid of. The fewer items that you have, the easier it will be to keep things organized. You want everything to have its own space, and if you have too many things, it can be difficult to find space to put those extra items.
Define Clear Work Areas
Have different spaces to complete different types of assignments and work. It will help to keep papers from getting mixed in the wrong stack and everything in the area where it belongs.
Put Trays in Your Drawers
If you don’t already have an organizing tray in your drawer, chances are that your drawers have become a misfit destination for your “throw away” items. Without some sort of system, you may often feel compelled to put random notes, tape holders, and pencils in your drawer, creating a mess that makes you search for five minutes before you can find a working pen. With a tray in your drawers, you can designate certain areas for certain items. No more pens and pencils getting tangled with your rubber bands or loose tape.
Label what you can in your work area. If you are having trouble finding something, the labels will point you in the right direction. Labels also allow you to visualize how you are keeping your things organized, making it easier to stay organized in the future.
Folders are your friend. Use them (with those previously mentioned labels) to keep everything separated. Have “to file” folders and “to do” folders. Have folders for the articles you want to keep and for tips, tricks, and advice to help with your professional or personal development. The truth is that you cannot have too many folders. Get a box to hold all of your folders and file them in order to keep everything organized.
Keep a Planner/Calendar Nearby
Planners and desk calendars offer ample space to write down notes and reminders and keep track of due dates and your schedule. If you keep one on your desk or in your workspace, you don’t have to worry about losing important notes or dates. It keeps the millions of sticky notes and scrap paper with random scribblings at bay.
At the end of every day, take a few minutes to tidy up your workspace. It doesn’t have to be extensive, but put papers where they belong, get rid of any trash on your desk, and make sure the space is ready to go for the next day. Remove everything unnecessary to have a visible open space on your desk. Doing this will prevent the build up of things out of place, and you’ll be much happier entering work with a clean desk and space to get your work done.
With these simple tricks, you’ll have a much easier time keeping your space (and mind) organized on the job. And who knows– maybe you’ll even find that favorite pen of yours that you’ve been looking for during the past two weeks.
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