According to Clutterers Anonymous, clutter is defined as “anything we don’t need, want, or use that takes our time, energy or space, and destroys our serenity.” In the office, we typically think of clutter as physical items like old files, receipts, paperwork, tchotchkes and other stuff that serves no present day purpose.Read More >>
However, clutter has infiltrated our desktop and mobile devices in the form of unnecessary files, folders, games and applications. The disorganization caused by this type of clutter is even more disruptive because it follows us wherever we go.
Here are eight office organization recommendations for the New Year. These tasks can be time consuming when tackling them for the first time, but a resolution to commit to regular maintenance can help you stay organized and get more accomplished.
1) Organize your inbox
Don’t wait for the IT department to tell you to clean out your inbox. Prioritize emails as they come, categorize emails in folders, and immediately delete emails you don’t need. Save only the most recent email in a thread and empty your “deleted” folder every day.
2) Clean up both desktops
It goes without saying that your physical desktop doesn’t require as much “stuff” in the digital age. But computer and mobile desktops that are loaded with files and little used apps sap your productivity. And don’t the IT guys just love when you save everything to your desktop? Reserve your desktops for a select few items that are used most often.
3) Update your address book
We’re talking about the digital version because we hope you ditched the physical version a long time ago. Delete duplicate entries. Update titles and contact information. Remove those contacts who are no longer relevant to your job and haven’t been for quite some time.
4) Digitize files
We hope you started taking care of this years ago. In 2015, there is no reason to continue storing paper files. If you haven’t digitized old files, get cracking. You’ll reclaim valuable office space and protect the environment.
5) Consolidate calendars
If you have a desk calendar, a smartphone calendar and an Outlook calendar, you have two calendars too many. All calendars, personal and business, can be integrated and accessed on any device so you can avoid conflicts and rescheduling.
6) Consolidate cords
Wireless technology has minimized the knots of power cords and the wires needed to connect computers to various office tools. Consolidate your cords, which should be limited to a couple of power cords and a charger, and hide them to remove the appearance of clutter.
7) Find the right balance between physical items with apps
There are mobile apps for Post-It notes, calendars, the rolodex and many other traditional desktop staples. The key is to determine what approach will make you most productive. For example, Post-It notes are valuable tools for color-coded planning walls, brainstorming sessions and other tasks, but scribbled notes scattered across the office create an organizational nightmare. Use mobile versions of the tools you need to have with you at all times, especially if you spend a lot of time out of the office.
8) Decorate a workspace that inspires you
One of the drawbacks of replacing physical items with apps is that it can leave you with a stale, boring workspace. Use the free space to creatively design a workspace that inspires you and motivates you, whether that involves adding plants, family photos or a book shelf.