In my earlier post, I provided five ways to optimize your time at work to get you home faster to your family! Here are five more ways to save time and increase your productivity by organizing your desk.
1. Bins/Desk Trays: Using bins/trays will keep your desk free of clutter and keep documents from being misplaced. As mentioned in my earlier post, first determine your natural work flow. Then look at the piles on your desk and decide what categories each pile is. This will determine bins. If you are responsible for paying invoices/expenses have one bin for incoming and one for paid. If you work for more than one person have a bin for each. What other items do you deal with on a daily basis? Would a bin system work? The most important thing to remember is to clearly label the bins, be consistent, and make sure everyone knows the system. This will not only help you, but will also help your co-workers and superiors when you are on vacation or absent for the day.
2. Keep Supplies at your desk: Choose a drawer that is close to your computer/main work area of your desk. Designate this drawer for a small stash of supplies. Fill it with various sticky-notes, a box of staples, tape, various sizes of paper/binder clips, correction tape, and note pads. This will eliminate the need to make a trip to the supply room across the office in the middle of a large project, saving both time and steps.
3. Pre-print Labels and Forms: For quick access, pre-print forms and labels that you use almost daily, i.e., “copy request”, “run requests”, etc. This will eliminate the time it takes to print these individually. I keep my forms and labels in hanging files in a designated drawer not on my desk using valuable work space.
4. Hanging Folders: As mentioned above, I store my pre-printed forms/labels in hanging folders. Each form has its own folder and are always in the same place – – the front of the drawer. I could probably find whichever form I need with my eyes closed. Consistency is the key. I also store number tabs, alpha tabs, and page dividers in this drawer, keeping them in individual folders and in the same place. The number tabs can be grouped together in numerical order or in groups of 10. This is true for the alpha tabs as well. I also keep extra file folders and different sizes of blank labels there too.
5. Personal Drawer: I highly recommended using one drawer for items that you may need, snacks, extra hose, girly products, bandages, a pair of comfortable shoes. Maybe even a flash light with extra batteries and a charger cord for your electronics. Being prepared for life’s “little emergencies” will be one less thing to add to the stress of your already busy day.
The key to optimizing your time at work is consistently being organized. “A place for everything and everything in it’s place.”