A new year means a new opportunity to get organized. Keeping your workspace and tasks organized is essential to know what needs to be done by when. Ultimately, this can help reduce stress and help you do your best work! Organization can play a key role in our success in and outside the workplace.
One article from Verywell Mind states, “Clutter and mess are linked to negative emotions like confusion, tension, and irritability, while an organized home tends to produce more positive emotions, like calmness and a sense of well-being.” So, how can you improve your organization to stay positive and maximize your productivity? Here are three key steps.
1. Throw out everything you don’t need—and let it go
The less stuff you have to organize, the easier it will be. So, the first step of any office organization project could be to throw away (preferably recycle, donate, or repurpose) everything you don’t need to keep. This includes printouts of documents that you can access electronically, old mail, useless knick-knacks, dried-out pens, outdated technologies, and equipment. You can go through file cabinets and shred tax documents you no longer need copies of. Also, try to look at documents you store on devices and delete anything unnecessary. (Your email inbox could probably use a cleaning while you’re at it.)
Don’t be too picky! Many people hold onto things they don’t really need to keep out of fear of regret or concern they’ll eventually need those items. But that leads to paralysis. To truly downsize and benefit from minimalism, you have to let go.
2. Get the tools and supplies that'll allow you to work faster and more efficiently
It’s essential to have the right desk organization tools and supplies to help you stay productive throughout the year. Consider getting a fresh set of expanding or hanging file folders to keep paper documents stored away, a paper shredder that can shred confidential documents and mail quickly, and staplers, paper clips, and other basic supplies that you can use to keep things in your office tidy. Try to make sure you have well-sized trash bins nearby so you can easily toss things you don’t need. And remember, mental organization is important, too: A calendar or planner gives you a place to write down your daily or weekly to-do list so you can stay focused and on task.
3. Create an organizational strategy and system
True organization isn’t a one-time or occasional activity. It means creating a system you can continue to use and easily replicate throughout the year. For example, have storage containers of the right size and design that will give you an easy place to put your mail and various types of documents, so you’re not piling them up on your desk or floor. Consider putting reminders on your calendar to go through those storage containers once a week and toss everything that doesn’t need to be kept. You can have a ready stock of cleaning supplies and designate 15 or 20 minutes each week to decluttering, dusting, and tidying your workspace. (If you do that on Friday afternoon, for example, your workspace will be ready to go on Monday morning.)
Devote time to organizing your work area each week, and get the organizational tools and supplies you need to stay organized. It will be time well spent — and can help you be more productive in the months ahead.
About the Author
Kelly Spors is a freelance writer and editor based in Minneapolis. She previously worked as a staff reporter for The Wall Street Journal, covering small business and entrepreneurship.
All content provided herein is for educational purposes only. It is provided “as is,” and neither the author nor Office Depot warrants the accuracy of the information provided, nor do they assume any responsibility for errors, omissions, or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein.
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