The Importance of Home Office Organization
When you are working from home it is just as important to keep your office space organised as if you were working elsewhere. By being organised you will increase your productivity. The trap we fall into when working from home is getting too relaxed and things start to slip. Piles of paperwork start to appear that you will ‘deal with later’.
Too many personal items start to appear and make themselves at home on your desk such as birthday cards to send, household bills and shopping lists. This then starts to blur the lines between working on your business and completing personal errands.
It takes great discipline to organise a home office but it is such an important part of your business that you should not let slip and neglect to take control of.
Start off with having a good declutter. The same principle applies as in having a declutter of your home. Get rid of anything that is:
- No longer used
- Dated and/or obsolete
- Doesn’t work (pens fall neatly into this category!)
- You wouldn’t miss if you never saw it again
Now make sure you have the correct furniture and/or accessories for keeping paperwork tidy and to avoid creating piles of clutter on your desk which needs to be kept clear for you to work.
Get a filing cabinet and split into sections for each area of your business. This could be for finances, client files, marketing ideas etc. Now take all that paperwork that has been building over time and put into its correct place. Remember the saying ‘A place for everything and everything in its place’.
Any documents or paperwork that you have been meaning to read for 12 months or more is likely not to be that important, or relevant, any more so be ruthless and bin it. Obviously, be aware of data protection and legal requirements but for general paperwork, get rid of it and stop it clogging up your valuable office space.
Get a bookcase and neatly arrange files, folders and books. Is there space to put your printer on top of the bookcase or filing cabinet to keep as much space free as possible on your desk?
Arrange your desktop so that you have everything you need regularly immediately to hand. This could be items such as pen pot, stapler, hole punch, calculator and diary. Having these items immediately to hand is much more convenient than having to scrabble around looking for them and wasting precious time.
Get yourself a desktop standing file for documents or files that you will be using regularly such as current projects.
During the day, use the one-touch rule for any incoming paperwork. Touch a piece of paper just once and deal with it there and then. Don’t add it to a pile to deal with later. Pay bills immediately and file away. Answer that letter and file or shred with complete. It will have to be dealt with at some point and will take the same amount of time so that time might as well be now. This will help keep your mind clear by knowing you are on top of things and will keep your pile of clutter to a bare minimum.
At the end of each day, double check to make sure your office space is tidy. File away any paperwork and check you have completed everything on your daily to-do list. Write down the top three things you need to complete the next day. This will help organise your mind and put you in a feeling of control allowing you to relax for the evening and recharge your batteries.
Follow these tips for organising your home office and see just how much more productive you become.