The start of the new year is often inspiration to make changes both personally and professionally. As a result, there is much discussion about what type of goals to focus on. This month, your NYC Professional Office Organizer is answering your questions about setting goals and changing your office organizing habits this year.
Q: I’m constantly trying to stay on top of the paper clutter in my office and want to make this the focus of one of my goals for 2018. What is one strategy I can implement this year that will help?
A: The best strategy for minimizing the amount of paper clutter in your office is to be sure that all paper has a home. The papers could be related to a project that you’re working on, include articles that you want to read or contain information needed to complete tasks. By assigning a home or a spot that makes sense to you for the paper, you’ll know exactly where to put it when you’re done working and subsequently be able to quickly find it the next time you need it. As a result, your desktop will be clear of excess papers and you’ll have plenty of space to tackle your next big project.
Q: One problem I’ve had in the past is managing my emails. I get distracted and end up stuck in my inbox most of the day. How can I change that pattern this year?
A: Schedule set times during the day for processing the new emails that have collected in your inbox. The amount of time that you allot for this task at these specified intervals should be directly related to the number of emails that you receive daily. To be sure that you don’t get lost in your inbox, set a timer for 15-20 minutes and quickly process all the latest messages that have collected. The objective during the processing time is to respond to messages that can be addressed in under 2 minutes and to identify tasks that should be added to your to-do list so that they can be addressed at another point.
Q: Office organizing is on my list of New Year’s Resolutions this year! I especially want to come into work to a clutter free desk. What is your recommendation on how I can keep that going long term?
A: This is a great resolution! Having a clearer desk will minimize the distractions and ultimately make you more productive. The initial decluttering of your desk is the first step. As clutter tends to creep up on us, I would recommend scheduling time at the beginning of each quarter to do periodic decluttering sweeps of your desktop. Once you have removed the excess memorabilia and miscellaneous office supplies from your desk as part of your decluttering, maintenance is going to be key. Take 5 minutes at the end of each day to clear your desk before leaving the office. Put away, throw away, return all items that are on your desk that you don’t need or are finished with for the moment. By doing this, you’ll have a clear desk from which to face each day’s new challenges.
Do you have a question for this NYC Professional Office Organizer? You can ask your questions right here!