Now that the office is clutter-free (see our last post) you will want to do your utmost to keep it that way!
The best way to do this is to have a regular plan that maintains an organized environment. If, on a daily basis, you and your staff follow a few simple suggestions designed to keep office clutter to a minimum, you will be pleasantly surprised how long you can go until your next “spring cleaning.”
First of all, you will want to set up a basic system for organization that applies to all staff members, but leaves room for some personal preference. Detail how you expect their desk to be maintained, how to file certain items, where different supplies are stored, and so on. While you can’t expect each individual to handle things in the same way, there should be a general standard they are expected to adhere to. If you are having trouble keeping your work space clean on a daily basis try putting these suggestions into practice:
- Set aside the last 30 minutes of the day to get things organized. Put away things you have used throughout the day, file any loose papers and set up your work space for the following day. It’s not easy to do, but trust me, nothing feels better than sitting down to a clean desk first thing thin the morning. It promotes productivity!
- When you sit down at your desk in the morning take a quick look at your to-do list first. This list should have been made at the end of yesterday’s work day. After you have reviewed your list, check your e-mail. You may need to modify your list according to your inbox, but at least you will have a clear image of what is expected of you for the day.
- When you complete a project, file all materials associated to it together, clearly labeled in a drawer, cabinet, or shelf.
- Don’t keep unnecessary papers from work meetings or other events. If you need to keep them for later use, file them, if not, you know where the trash is.
- When taking notes at meetings or making to-do lists and using good old-fashioned pen and paper use a spiral bound notebook instead of a notepad. Papers tend to fall out easier and wrinkle more readily in notepads.
- Clear out your e-mail folders on a weekly basis. Many e-mail providers offer features for organization such as folders, labels and stars. These are great tools for mails you are currently using, or need to save for future reference. However, don’t use them as an excuse to clutter up your inbox. Delete e-mails you really don’t need, and archive the ones you don’t need in your inbox. If they are labeled you will be able to find them later.
Keeping the office clean is often more work than getting it that way, but like every good thing, it is well worth the effort. Strive to lead by example so that all your employees will get on the organization bandwagon. Less stress, more productivity, exactly what your business needs.