Does your desk look overloaded? Can you see your desk? Is it time to sort through all of the paperwork and get organised? It may feel a little daunting but take a deep breath and take the plunge, once you have sorted through everything and organised yourself, you will find you are more productive.
Here are my top 6 tips to organising your desk and work.
Sort - Start by taking all of the papers off your desk and out of your in-tray. Put them in one pile (hopefully the pile won’t be taller than you) and start sorting. Be brutal and sort through everything. De-clutter, shred, get rid of everything that you don’t need or want. If you haven't looked at a something for the last 12 months ask yourself 'do you really need to keep it'? With everything that is left you need to organise it, file it and have a system. It may be worth having an in-tray for new items, a follow up tray for things you need to action in the next week and a filing tray but the filing tray should be actioned once a week to ensure it doesn’t become the dumping tray.
File - If you haven't got a filing system, put one in place. File everything away so that it is easier to find when you do need it. It may be possible, and preferable, to scan and file your papers electronically so that you don't need to keep the physical file. A paperless office is achievable but you need to be diligent about scanning and keeping your electronic filing up to date.
One diary - Use one central calendar. Pick the calendar that works best for you (phone, email calendar or a paper diary) and stick to it. Keep everything in the one location so that you don't have bits and pieces everywhere, you don’t want to double book yourself or forget an appointment.
To-do list - Set up a to-do or tasks list and mark things off as you do them. Keep this updated and keep yourself accountable for your tasks. Start fresh in the morning and take 10 minutes to write up your tasks for the day, ensuring that you mark the priority and deadline on a task so that you can work through your list attacking the highest priority first. If you have a plan for how you will attack your tasks it will make it easier to stay on track.
Electronically file - Clean up your computer desktop and create an electronic filing system. Tips on email management and keeping your inbox under control will follow in a future blog.
Reminders - Add reminders to your calendar to ensure that you don’t miss a deadline. For example if you are attending an event, add a reminder to your calendar a fortnight beforehand to ensure you have time to prepare and stay on top of any tasks that you need to do before you leave.
Now that your desk is clean, your papers have been filed or disposed of, you need to maintain that space. Set time aside once a week to file all paperwork. Your in-tray should now look like this!
If you need any help getting your office organised or your in-tray cleared, please contact PA Excellence today for a no obligation 30 minute consultation and we will put a plan in place to assist you.