Time management is the key to a successful home office and being organised plays a REALLY big part in how productive you are. If your home office is currently a ‘no go’ zone, it’s time for you to get it organised, as that disorganisation is costing you wasted time and decreased productivity – not to mention the unnecessary stress and anxiety it’s creating.
Organising your home office doesn’t have to take a long time. It can easily be done over a weekend, ready for you to experience a better workflow, clear desk and increased productivity by Monday morning. Here are my 7 tips for organising your home office.
Tip #1: Have a logical sequence of files – both online and offline
Alphabetical or numerical, arranged by client or job, colour coded or uniform – it doesn’t matter what filing system you use, as long as you have one that makes sense to you. If you have virtual and physical files, make it super-easy for you to find and file things, by creating identical online and offline files.
Look to store everything in the cloud, as you’ll then be able to access them from any device and from any location.
Tip #2: Think of your workflow
We all have a natural workflow, so work with it – not against it. Make sure everything you use on a regular basis is within easy reach, without having to stretch or break your concentration. This includes items like your in-tray, pens, notepads, diary and even your printer – but also keeping your whiteboard markers with your whiteboard, paperclips on your corkboards etc.
Tip #3: Keep like with like
Look to make it easy on yourself by keeping same items together – so books and CDs go together on a bookcase or shelf, all files are together in one place, pens and pencils etc.
Tip #4: Sort out your drawers
Office drawers have a nasty habit of becoming the dumping ground of pointless and unloved items! Go through your drawers, sort them out and get them working for you. Use the top drawer for your most used items and work downwards.
Tip #5: Go vertical
Home offices often have limited space for furniture and, with low items such as your desk and a cabinet to stand your printer on, you’re better suited keeping the footprint small. Opt to gain maximum use of that floor space by going vertical. Look to install a tall bookcase, shelves and wall hanging files – as these all make use of otherwise redundant wall space. You can then add baskets, box files, storage containers and such, to keep your items tidy.
Tip # 6: Have a clear out
We all have unnecessary junk in our offices – whether it’s stationery items we’re never going to use or printed papers containing ‘useful’ information we want to read up on. But it doesn’t stop there – we also tend to keep emails and online files we no longer need either! Set aside slots of time to gradually go through both physical and virtual items and clear out the unnecessary junk.
Tip #7: Label everything!
Invest in a label maker – it really will save you masses of time! There’s nothing worse than knowing you filed something, but not being able to a) remember where it is and b) read the badly handwritten or faded label.
Setting aside regular blocks of time to clear and tidy the different areas of your home office and business, will enable you to clear your space, free your mind and increase your productivity.
When was the last time you cleared out and organised your home office? What action steps can you implement now, to help get you started and working towards a more organised office? Why not share your organising tips and suggestions in the comments box below!