How to Organize an Office

3 steps in response to “Help! How do I Organize My Office?”

desktop step-up file

my favorite desktop step-up file from www.ultoffice.com

Step 1: Break Your Project Up Into Small Manageable Parts:
  • If you take on the whole project it will become overwhelming. Take it one step at a time.
  • Understand that you didn’t get disorganized overnight and you won’t get organized overnight either. What you need is a plan to get yourself back on track.
  • Look around – what do you see. A desk? Office supplies? A computer with files all over the place? Email that haunts you? Post-it’s everywhere?  Those are your projects. Pick the 3 or 4 areas that stress you out the most. Plan to work on one a week.

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This isn’t so bad

“This isn’t so bad” is perhaps one of the more frequent statements I hear out of my client’s mouths. It doesn’t quite matter if we are sorting stuff, culling emails, consolidating post-its or any of the other numerous tasks that go into becoming more organized and productive, I hear it often…”this isn’t so bad”.

What’s that about? Could it possibly be that:

  • creating order and structure actually is a relief?
  • getting rid of excess actually feels good?
  • being in control of one’s responsibilities actually is a good thing?

Yes, I’m convinced of all that, and I’m convinced that having some semblance of order contributes to a better life overall.

Then why is it so hard to do it? The easy answer is because there are so other things we have to do that it’s hard to prioritize taking care of our work space. What if we were to reframe this? For those of you who love to exercise and would never miss a workout, but the thought of spending time getting your office or desk or kitchen island in shape is horrifying – ask yourself why is this any different?

Organizing is simply a workout for your space. Without the maintenance of taking care of your stuff, your space gets sluggish, inefficient and blob-like. Once you invest a bit of time and energy into taking care of it you feel lightened up, more agile and more nimble. And that isn’t so bad.

Top 3 Tips to Maximize Working from Home

A lot has been written in the news about working from home. I understand why Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo has put an end to it for her company – a lot of people who say they are working from home, do everything but work. Working from home is a privilege I wouldn’t want to lose. Here are my top 3 tips for maximizing the opportunity:

  1. Outline a Daily Plan – Be clear in what you want to accomplish. Write out specifics identifying what you want to get done. It could be a part of one big project, or many little tasks – but write it down.
  2. Make a Daily Schedule – project how much time each item on your plan is going to take and plug it into a schedule. Don’t forget the time you need to let the repairman in or to pick up your child from school. When you see your day in black-and-white it will help you from frittering time away.
  3. Create Space – I’m a huge advocate for creating effective work space. You’ll need a clear space that isn’t cluttered with distractions that take you off your game. It could be a desk, a table or a big comfy chair – but be sure that you have room to spread out. I also suggest that you have a printer close by and basic office supplies (stapler, pens, highlighters, post-its, binder clips, etc.). It’s a huge time-suck to have to keep getting up for essentials.