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Introduction

How often do you find yourself looking for something you’ve misplaced? If you have ever wished your office space was more organized, you’re not alone. A study by the US News and World Report found the average American spends a full year of their life looking for lost items.

 

Tackling a project like organizing your workspace can be overwhelming at first, especially if you already feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day. But according to the Wall Street Journal, the average executive wastes six weeks a year retrieving misplaced information. If this executive earns $75,000 a year, this translates to a total loss of $9,221. Finding a few hours to sort your documents, supplies, schedules, etc. will actually save you time and money in the long run.

Being disorganized doesn’t just cost you time and money. It slows you down physically, but more importantly affects your focus.

According to the Journal of Neuroscience, “Clutter is distracting, and research confirms that it can actually affect your ability to focus: Looking at too many things at once overloads your visual cortex and interferes with your brain’s ability to process information.”

Staying organized at work will allow more time and attention for other important aspects of your life. Dr. Eva Selhub, an internationally recognized physician, author and speaker, believes a lack of time is often the greatest barrier to healthy habits.

 

“When you’re organized at work, you’re more productive and efficient, which means you’re able to finish at a reasonable time and go home,” said. Dr. Selhub. “This leaves you with the time you need to exercise, prepare a healthy meal, relax, and get more sleep.”

Figuring out how to begin and knowing what’s the best strategy for you is often the most challenging part – but we’re here to help!

Before tackling your workspace, come up with a plan that works for you. Take into consideration the environment you work in and the items you’ll need access to on a regular basis. These factors will vary depending on your position and the nature of your work.

Tips for Organizing

After you’ve considered the above, use these tips to get your work life in order:

1. Throw it Away, Recycle it or Donate it

If you don’t need it, get rid of it. This is hard for so many because you believe the moment you throw something away, you will need it. But if it’s been sitting in your space and you haven’t need it, chances are you won’t.

2. Separate Documents by When You’ll Need Them

Put documents you won’t need for a month or longer in a “long term storage” category. Things you will need on a daily or weekly basis should go in the “short term storage”. Use storage bins, shelving, etc. to move the “long term storage” items out of your immediate workspace.

 

3. Use Office Stamps

Marking documents with a bold, colored stamp will make sorting and filing documents fast and easy. Simply Stamps offers an extensive selection of stock office stamps for clerical, medical, banking and postage uses just to name a few.

4. Utilize Filing Cabinets

Get everything off of your desk and into its proper file. One four-drawer filing cabinet can hold up to 18,000 pieces of paper. A few filing cabinets can organize even the most paper-filled of offices.

5. Establish a Filing System

It can be month-by-month, subject or category, color-coded, by account, etc. Find what makes the most sense for you. Create subcategories within your categories by using interior file folders.

6. Clean out your Drawers

Any drawers you have in your desk are valuable space. Clean out every drawer and organize them. Find a place for everything and keep it in its place until you need it. Put it back as soon as you’re done and you’ll never question where something is.

 

7. Clear off your Desk

Eliminate the clutter so there’s nothing to distract you. Only keep the things that are essential (ie: phone, computer, pens, etc.). Be sure to leave your desk clean every day so you can start fresh the following morning.

8. Use Storage Containers

Instead of letting pens, paperclips and flash drives run wild across your desk, use a variety of containers to organize all of your office supplies.

9. Have a Workable To-Do List

Start each day with three achievable tasks. Break larger tasks down into smaller accomplishments and take them one at a time. Being overwhelmed by all you have to do will make you far less productive.

 

10. Keep a Notebook

You never know when you’ll need to write down an important note, phone number or a reminder. Keeping a notebook or journal at your fingertips will ensure you never forget to call someone back or miss a meeting.

11. Organize your Cyber Space

Clear off the desktop of your computer. Navigating a folder will be much easier than sorting through a sea of icons. Only keep things like your Internet browser or daily programs. Further, make sure all important data is backed up somewhere safe in case your computer ever crashes.

Mental Benefits

According to the Huffington Post, a survey conducted in 2010 concluded 80 percent of people said being organized improved their work performance. Those who kept their space organized also seemed to have these qualities in common:

  • They achieve their goals.
  • They’re generally positive people.
  • They focus on one thing at a time and have a do-it-now attitude.
  • They’re decision-makers.
  • They prepare for what’s to come – no matter what that may be.
  • They ask for help when they need it.
  • They know when they do their best work.
  • They know when it’s time to decompress.

 

Conclusion

If organizing your space will positively affect both your work life and overall mental well-being, what’s there to lose? Whether you spend hours organizing your desk or office at once or do it a little bit at a time – you’re sure to see the benefits. Consolidate what’s necessary, prioritize what you need and organize your space to gain full control of your professional and personal life.