Wasted time amounts to wasted dollars. Brother International Corp.’s
“P-touch Means Business,” survey reveals that an estimated 76 working hours per
person each year are lost as a result of disorganization in the workplace.
As a professional organizer I believe the key to maintaining an uncluttered
desk is daily upkeep. Set aside a few minutes at the end of
each day to keep paperwork under control and your desk organized.
Minimize visual clutter by getting rid of what isn’t needed and
filing the rest away. When you pick up a piece of paper, decide what
you are going to do with it: Toss, File, or Act. Toss as much as possible. Use
action files to hold papers for smaller tasks you plan to act on. Today many
people work out of a home office, so it’s important to keep work files separate
from home files.
Consider creating “easy-to-read” file labels. A label maker
may be a good solution. Filing electronically eliminates paper altogether.
Papers you frequently reference can be stored in easy-to-update three-ring
For an organized desk, place items you use often in a convenient
location. Maximize your horizontal work space by using vertical space
above the desk for shelves or calendars. Items you don’t use regularly can be
stored nearby or donated if you don’t use them at all. Keep electronic cords out
If possible, face your computer away from the doorway. That
way you won’t be interrupted by the flow of office traffic. Make a to-do list at
the beginning of each day or the evening before. Schedule your time so the most
important tasks get done first. That way, if you are interrupted, at least your
most urgent tasks have been completed.
Imagine how quickly you will find things when you know where everything is
and there is less to look through.
Once your office is decluttered, the necessary daily upkeep is up to you.
Schedule time, once a day, to clear your desktop, review your schedule, and
update your to-do list.
Read more tips about office organizing.
Jane Carroo is a recognized Certified Professional Organizer and owner of Clutter Coach Company, which she founded in 2004. Jane combines her experience as an educator,life coach, certified professional organizer and senior move manager to help clients gain clarity and control over their space, paper and time. An inspiring author, Jane has been featured on NBC, the CBS Early Show, A&E Hoarders and many print and online publications.