Do you find yourself spending 10 minutes every day rummaging through stacks of documents for a specific file on a regular basis? Chances are, the clutter in your office space is getting out of hand. It is time you take actionable steps to declutter your office. From the physical to the digital environment, small changes in your working space can create a huge impact.
A streamlined physical workplace enhances efficiency and productivity. There is greater motivation to work when the office space has minimal distraction and information access is a breeze. Furthermore, studies have also shown that a tidy workspace projects a better image of you among your coworkers.
Here are some simple tips to declutter your physical office environment:
Keep only the bare necessities on your desk. Apart from items you need for work such as a laptop, printer, writing materials or a cup of coffee, your desk should be kept clear.
In addition, establish a designated space for storage. Use drawers and shelves to store files, paperwork, business cards and additional supplies, where current projects are prioritised and placed at the top. With that said, there must be a limit to the amount of items kept in these storage spaces. To maximise space, consider scanning documents and saving them in softcopy instead.
Clean your workspace once a week
Set aside one day every week to clean up your office space. Wipedown your desk area regularly, especially the phone, keyboard and desktop monitor.
Besides the physical environment, it is equally important to have an organised digital space. A decluttered online environment saves businesses time and money because finding what you want becomes much easier. The following are some tips to neaten up your digital workspace:
Limit the number of items displayed on your desktop screen
To minimise clutter, save all your files into your “Documents” folder and make shortcuts to these files. Never save them directly to the desktop. This also acts as a safeguard against the possible loss of data since most computer backup systems do not protect files that are directly saved on the desktop.
File as you go
Make it a habit to file your documents when you first create them so that they will not overwhelm the desktop.
Create folders in a logical hierarchy
After sorting your files into folders, order them based on priority. For convenience, you could even place the files that you use the most at the top of the file list using “!” or “AA” at the beginning of the file names.
When it comes to naming your files, be specific.
Using dates, names, and descriptions to label files will make it easy to find the files you need. For the visually-oriented, colour-coding of file names based on urgency or the nature of the document might be helpful as well.
Re-organise your files regularly
To ensure a more streamlined digital workspace, store old business files away in an “inactive” or “archive” folder.
Set up an automated system
Install applications or services that will automatically transfer files to a separate folder if they have been untouched for a specified period of time. For instance, Canon provides a Therefore™ Document Management Solution that enables you to store, manage and process all kinds of business information efficiently, economically and securely throughout your organisation.
By putting these organisation tips into practice, information and documents are neater and can be accessed easily. You will be greeted with a clutter-free and inviting office that helps you focus on staying on task towards your daily goals.
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