This month, as many individuals work towards their New Year’s Resolutions of becoming more organized, we’ve stressed the importance of starting small. We’ve discussed strategies from our NYC Professional Office Organizer for creating and maintaining resolutions that you will keep. We shared that choosing a smaller task, like organizing your purse, can create momentum and help you work your way up to larger goals. We even discussed how to choose containers for your space so that when you’re ready to start organizing, you have everything you need to succeed. Now it’s time to up the ante by tackling a bigger project, like organizing your office. Start with your desk; it’s the hub of your office! Below are some tips from our NYC Professional Office Organizer on getting your desk in order.
- Store Like with Like: Too often we cram ALL of our writing utensils in one cup or container on our desks. Instead, sort these items and store those that you use often to make notes – like pens and pencils – and items that you use less frequently – like sharpies and highlighters – in separate containers. Toss any utensils that no longer work to reduce the clutter even further.
- Optimize Your Inbox: This is a top tip for those looking for help organizing paper clutter. Rather than sticking to just one inbox, invest in a three-tiered desk tray or standing file. Separate your documents into In, Out and To File. This will allow you to be much more productive and proactive with your filing.
- Minimize Post-Its: Post-It notes are both a blessing and a curse. Yes, they allow you to jot down quick notes and stick them in a prominent place on your desk or computer, but soon you’re swimming in them, making it difficult to discern which takes the highest priority. Instead, take these notes and add them to your To Do list and/or calendar so that you’ll be sure to see each reminder exactly when you need it and prioritize them accordingly.
- Compile Business Cards: File business cards in a separate to-do folder from the rest of your papers to reduce the chance that they will be misplaced with other files. Our NYC Professional Office Organizer also recommends getting in the habit of adding the contact information from new business cards you’ve collected to your contact management program on a weekly basis to ensure that it is up to date.
- Create Action Files: Another must for those in need of help organizing paper clutter. Avoid collecting piles of paper on your desk. Instead, create action files as a home for papers relating to each project, as well as routine tasks. Place each relevant piece of paper you receive in the appropriate action file when you receive it to keep your desk clear of paper clutter.
- Reduce Personal Items: Personal items are great, but they can often contribute to clutter. Limit yourself to just 2-3 keepsakes or pictures on your desk at any one time.
An organized desk is the first step to an orderly office and a productive year. Implement the suggestions above and let us know how having an organized desk has helped you!