Welcome to 2014! We hope the New Year has been treating you well so far and that you are ready for the fresh start that every year brings. With that fresh start, there may even be a few resolutions or goals – whether your workplace has set new objectives or you’ve made a list of personal resolutions on your own. There’s one overwhelmingly common objective that always seems to be at the front of everyone’s minds this time of year: getting organized at work. Firstly, let’s just say once and for all that it is possible. Better yet, it is sure to positively enhance the quality of your work and vastly improve your mood.
Some Systems to Put In Motion
It is important to understand that without supporting systems in place with your goals, you probably aren’t going to achieve much, especially when it comes to getting organized. That is, setting New Year’s goals and resolutions is only step one of the process. Many try to go from step 1 (goal creation) to step 3 (completion of the goal). This simply does not work. The often skipped step 2 is what makes the difference between success and failure, and it’s all about creating the supporting systems.
For example, you buy a planner to stay more organized. You write everything down and look over your planner while you eat breakfast so that you can mentally prepare for the day and figure out just what challenges it will bring. This is step 2, the system. Note that it is not enough to just buy the planner – you actually have to have a plan and a strategy for using the planner.
So here are some systems you can use to get more organized at work in 2014:
Start with your desk: Look around. How ergonomic and efficient is your desk? Do you have enough storage or are papers scattered everywhere? Clean your desk and use a storage system to keep it clean. Color code, alphabetize, both – use a method of storage that works for you. You may even want to invest in some storage furniture like a file cabinet. Conversely, maybe your desk is simply no longer working for you. It might be time to upgrade to one with more work space, ample drawers for storage and grommets for wire management. These are changes and systems that can really make a huge difference for the organization of your office.
Consider an office redesign: The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to change things up with a fresh look and design. Consider redesigning or rearranging your office in a way that will fully contribute to your organization. If you’re due for new furniture and you have the budget for it, shop for products that will support order. The best furniture products that offer this are often multi-purpose such as this pencil holder with phone charging station.
Add a calendar: A physical calendar should be at your desk somewhere – even if you only really use the one on your phone. While writing things down on this calendar is a totally optional system, just having the month displayed out before you can help with your focus and your vision for future projects and meetings.
Use a planner or to-do-list: This one is a bit obvious, but still worthy of mention because it works. These can be a physical form or in app form on your smart phone – whatever you will have constant and convenient access to at the office. The key here, like in the example in the beginning of this article, is to actually use the planner as a system and as a guide.
Have the right supplies: We all know there are certain essential office supplies that everyone needs on their desk. However, there is also a good chance that you might have some supplies deemed “essential” even though you never use them. If that’s the case, get rid of these supplies. Or at least move these supplies to a drawer. Your work surface is precious and should only contain what is absolutely necessary.
Use wall space: Whether you’re in a cubicle or in an office, you should use your wall space. Cubicles often have material and padding that allows for tacking. Tack some important reminders or papers up. You can even add some inspiring messages. This will further help you to keep your work surface clean. If you have actual walls, shelving can really help. Plus, it can also add a nice decorative element to your office. You could even add a whiteboard or a bulletin board. Whiteboards can give you a new place to jot down ideas or brainstorm and replace the pile of papers and post-it notes that used to be strewn everywhere. Bulletin boards offer a new location for reminders and papers that were previously on your desk taking up too much room.
Add lighting: If you don’t have proper lighting right now, add it. Lighting does wonders for ergonomics, but it can also contribute to your organization. After all, you need to be able to see your office in order for it to be organized.