The Infamous Home Office

Smart Systems that Work for You

When you walk into your office, do you sit down at your desk and begin your daily work with a strong sense of focus and concentration? If you said yes, well good for you!  But many of us don’t feel this way.  Instead of entering with a purpose, we get distracted and end up going in several directions, none of which proves to be productive or efficient. 

If you can relate to this and feel overwhelmed and scattered, take a serious look at your desk!

Has it become your dumping ground and covered with things to read (I know, one day you will get to relax and read it) such as newspapers, magazine articles, letters…need I go on?

First, suffice it to say, you need a system to streamline your stuff and organize your work.

So let’s begin.


Smart Sorting

Take those papers and divide them into three categories:

1. Immediate Attention

2. Look Later

3. File

Please, make it simple on yourself, throw away, shred, or recycle everything else that you have not touched or looked at in years and do not need!

Never underestimate the power of having things within arm’s reach – so now put all those immediate action items there!

Organize them so you can see them…try something that will keep them upright, such as a letter sorter. If you lay them down, it’s too risky to start piling again, hence they get buried.

Now create an area that is for your “Look Later” stuff. Find something that is colorful and will draw your eye as a reminder.

I personally like the file totes that have the detachable file inserts. It’s ideal for your magazines, papers, and catalogs and you can make bold labeled tabs for each category.

Tip: Once you see it getting full or heavy, it’s time to purge!


Clearing Your Space

I always say, you must be attracted to your tools, and a filing cabinet is no exception. Find something that you like that will compliment the style of your office. You have to feel like you want to “go” to the files.

Take the time to shop or go on-line and browse a bit. I suggest you find one with drawers that close – it helps things look less cluttered and professional.

Finally, it’s important to put like with like.  This means, no commingling your papers please. Separate your mail immediately and keep your bills in their own home. Then put the rest of the mail in the homes you already established prior – “Immediate, Look at Later or File.” Remember, now is a good time to toss, shred or recycle the rest.

Tip: If it’s been more than 2 weeks and you haven’t read your catalogs, it’s time to let them go.

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