Five tips for better office organisation

- December 3, 2008 2 MIN READ

Often with more freedom, comes less structure. Because soloists have no corporate structure to fall back on, they need to create their own structure for their office organisation.

For some people that’s easy, for others it’s the bugbear of their soloist career.

But there is an answer: take small, simple and regular steps to increase your levels of organisation.

Once you have good levels of office organisation you will feel far happier about having taken that initial leap of faith.

To get there takes discipline, skill and commitment and maintenance.

These simple steps will assist you to begin your office organisation journey:

1. Dedicate ten minutes per day to de-cluttering. Use a timer if necessary. Sound too boring? Just schedule it in as you would any other appointment. Use the time to remove anything that doesn’t live in your office. Remove anything from your desk that doesn’t live there. Make sure it has its own home to go to. Being organised requires maintenance. Ten minutes a day doesn’t sound so scary does it?

2. Keep a bin where you open the mail and immediately discard irrelevant paperwork. Sound too obvious? Try it and see how much better you feel when unnecessary things don’t even make it onto your desk. Even better open you mail at the post office and discard all junk mail there.

In your office, make sure the bin is square or rectangle and large enough to fit A4 paper. Leave small round bins with swinging lids in the kitchen or bathroom

Want more articles like this? Check out the office administration section.

3. Know how long you need to keep each document. Every document has a life span, whether it’s a post it note with a five minute life span (please don’t tell me you keep them longer than that?) or it’s tax related, it needs an appropriate home the whole time it is with you. Know what you need to keep, what you can archive or throw and when you can do it.

4. Keep archive or older files away from active or ‘to do’ files. Prime access files ought to be literally within arms’ length. Don’t keep dead files there. Things you use daily stay close to you, weekly a little further away, monthly even further. For less frequently accessed items, consider housing them outside the office altogether.

5. Make friends with your office. Set it up so you love going into it. Having systems that suit your needs will be a big part of this. You can use colours and furnishings that make you feel good but stay mindful of your office’s purpose.

If you don’t already, use these quick tips to start improving your office organisation today. Stay tuned for more detailed organising tips and tricks. If you have a certain organising challenge you’d like me to write about just post it here.

Also, we would love to hear your favourite tips for office organisation that have helped give your solo business structure.

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  • Andrew Caska

    Caska IP Patent Attorneys

    'Flying Solo opened up so many doors for us - I honestly don't know where I'd be without it"