When thinking about your home office, it is important that it is organised and neat to help improve your productivity. There are two benefits to a well organised office; the first is that you feel in control and competent, and the second is that you will have less to distract you from your work.
Here are five tips to help you feel more organised and productive in your home office.
1. Have a paper purge
Go through every piece of paper you have and apply the rule of three. This means either throw it away, file it or take action on the piece of paper. Make sure you have a colour-coded filing system so you can find your important papers easily.
2. Make a catch-it space
This space is best positioned near the entrance to the office. In this space, you should have a folder to put important documents, a hook to hang up your jac, a shelf for your keys and other stuff you need to keep and a dustbin. This is so you can get rid of the rubbish before it comes into the office.
3. Organise your desktop
Depending on your work, you may like a desk with little jars filled with different things you use, or you might prefer a clean desk with just your computer and the rest in drawers. Just make sure your desk is organised. It is important to clear your desk of clutter and only have the things you use everyday on your desk.
4. Create folders
There are three folders which are important in a home office. The first is a ‘meetings’ folder. In this folder, you should put all the documents you need to take to your next meeting. When you come back from the meeting, you can go through the folder and file the important papers and throw the unimportant papers away. The next folder is a ‘waiting for reply (WOR)’ folder. In this folder, you need to put those things you are waiting for a reply on. Check this folder every week and follow up on any issues in the folder. The final folder you need is a ‘read’ folder. In this folder you can put all the articles that you have found which you would like to read. Make sure you carve out time in your schedule to read at least one article a week.
5. Make a computer and non-computer space
It is important to have two spaces in your office even if it is on one desk. The one space will be where your computer is and the other space will be where you write and sign documents or work on your iPad. Having these two spaces makes it easier to move between working on things that involve the computer and when you need to write down ideas during a brainstorming session.
As you can see it is quite easy to create an organised workspace although it may take a bit of time. It is important to put the time aside as this is an investment in your productivity and if you are more productive, you will have more time to smell the roses!
Brought to you by the National Small Business Chamber (NSBC).