For some people, working amidst chaos is a natural skill, but for many of us chaos on the desk, means chaos in our heads. So getting organised can reduce stress, and increase productivity. Except who has time to tidy up a whole office?!
Small things can make a big difference, so here's our top tips for creating calm so you can be calmly creative.
Paperwork all over your work surface, falling out of desk trays, piled up on pedestals, but you can never find the piece that you need? How is it that in a digital world there is still so much paper?!
Ditch the inbox! As soon as paper arrives on your desk, bin it, file it, or add it to an Action tray. Sort paperwork for different projects into simple plastic folders so that you will find them all in one place when you need them. When a project is finished, take 10 minutes to clear out and file all the notes and paperwork so you can move onto the next thing with a clear head. And if all of that sounds too dull, read our fabulous guide to making a paper plane!
Share the (magazine) love!
Do you have a mountain of magazines and trade publications that you will never, in a decade, ever read? Be honest, those ones at the bottom of the pile are probably so vintage the styles will have come around a second time! When magazines arrive consider adding a sticker with a circulation list so they keep moving around the office. Dispose of the previous issue as soon as the new one arrives, and never keep a whole magazine when there's maybe only a small clipping that you need to add to a project file.
And if you feel really bad putting all those pristine glossies into the recycling bin, find a local playgroup who can use them for messy play. Because they're no use collecting dust in your newly tidy corner of the office!
Review your storage
What cupboards and shelves do you have in the office, and what do you need? Is the existing furniture full of 'stuff' that could be discarded, whilst you struggle to find storage space? What about adding some colourful box files, or book ends? And if you haven't got any decent storage, take a look at our extensive storage range and we're certain you'll find something to meet your needs. A tall tambour will hide a multitude of sins!
It sounds obvious, doesn't it. But how many times do you print that email, just in case? Or make a hard copy of a pdf to 'read later' only to add it to the magazine mountain to collect dust? Trust your I.T.. Create folders by project from your inbox, and archive emails once they are 6 months old. Organise your work files into logical folders, and name files in logical ways so that you can find them easily in a search. Make sure you consider other users too who may find it helpful to access shared information. Agree with everyone how and where to store shared resources.
If you are unsure how to go about this, I.T. managers are often very happy to discuss ways to free up server sapce, so they will be able to advise the best way to store and archive documents so that everything is safe, and backed up.
Clear out your drawers!
Sticky sweets? An ancient banana? 63,000 paper clips? 22,500 elastic bands? Broken staplers, dry pens and 6 calculators, just in case someone borrows one? We all do it. When did you last empty that pedestal? Agree with your colleagues to have a stationery amnesty day, designate a cupboard as the 'Stationery Locker' and put all the spares and extras in one place so you'll never need to hunt for those scissors again!
Get organised and feel more in control, achieve more, and look like you know what you're doing! Just beware, those beautifully tidy surfaces you create can be a magnet for other peoples magazines...!