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Strategies for Organizing Paperwork in Your Office

Keeping your office paperwork organized is an essential part of staying productive. If you are constantly searching for misplaced files or having to double back and find things needed to complete a project, you are using up crucial time that could otherwise be used to get the work done. A decrease in productivity can mean missed deadlines and a whole slew of problems. Implement these paper organizing strategies from your NYC Professional Office Organizer and you will never lose an important document again!

Use an inbox to collect incoming paperwork. This will become the one designated space where all incoming paperwork collects. In terms of productivity, it doesn’t make sense to immediately stop working every time a new piece of paper lands on your desk. Instead, collect paperwork in one central location so that it is at your fingertips when you are ready to review it. The bonus is that this also means there aren’t paper piles growing all over your workspace!

Shift your office into a paperless workspace. Start by discouraging excessive printing. Immediately remove extra printers, making it less convenient, and set printers to default to double-sided to save paper. Request paperless statements from banks, office utilities, and other service providers. Make it easy to recycle within your office – have collection boxes readily accessible and encourage your coworkers and employees to reuse and recycle anything that isn’t confidential. Think about how your office handles document signing, contracts, invoices, and other paperwork. When it comes to reports that are often printed and shared, create a new policy that has reports generated as PDFs and filed accordingly so that they can be shared and read on your computer or tablet. Document signing procedures should also be reviewed. The US law allows for digital signatures to be just as binding as physical signatures, so save the paper and create a policy for digitally signing documents. When collaborating with coworkers, keep all the work in the cloud.

Utilize the 5 Minute Plan. Schedule time to dive in and purge the paper clutter. As we all know, if we don’t schedule time for this task, it’ll never happen. Take a look at your calendar and make paper organizing a priority by blocking time on a recurring basis. Schedule just 5-10 minutes each day. Start by sorting and filing that day’s papers and once done start on the pile of older documents that has collected. By immediately putting away papers and files, the clutter will start to diminish. If you have a larger collection of piles to address, schedule 15 minutes per day until they are gone and then reduce the amount of daily time for this task. When you rid your space of this excess paper, there will be less distractions and your productivity will increase.

You don’t need to save everything. You can have a system for organizing paperwork in place, but if you are saving every single piece of paper that enters your office, you won’t have any room for those must keep documents! Keep in mind that 80% of the paperwork that is filed is never accessed. Be critical of which documents to file and use questions like “can I get another copy” in your decision-making process. If the paperwork contains important information, such as tasks that need to be accomplished or dates and times of meetings, then add that information to your to-do list and your calendar and discard the paper.

For more paper organizing tips and hands on strategies, reach out to your NYC Professional Office Organizer today.

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