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Productivity / Office administration

Five ways to be more organised at work

Wasting just ten minutes a day can set you back a whole working week by the end of the year. Here are five simple tips to be more organised at work by using your time and space more wisely.

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Being well organised is one of the most powerful, effective strategies you can implement for success in business – and is also possibly the most underestimated!

Successful businesses review all parts of their operations regularly and your organising processes should be no different. Reviewing your office space and practices regularly can help you create more time, energy and money!

1. Divide and conquer

Everything entering your office has a life cycle. It may be with you for five minutes, five years or perhaps forever and it needs a home for every day, minute and second it’s with you.

Divide your office into zones: an entry/exit point, current working files, short-term storage, medium-term storage and archiving. (The last two may be offsite).

Now make sure you have the right tools within each of the zones. Do you like the horizontal document trays or do you prefer vertical journal box style? Make time to find out what works for you and your organising style.

2. Restrict easy access to things you actually use often

Sit at your desk and look at what you keep at arms-length. If you don’t use all of it daily, remove it.

"Sit at your desk and look at what you keep at arms-length. If you don’t use all of it daily, remove it."

This includes old post-it notes in your top drawer and read magazines on your desk.

Apply this rule to your desk, computer and around your entire office.

The more frequently you access an item, the closer it needs to be to you. Don’t clog up your valuable working space with infrequently used files and tools.

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

3. Unsubscribe

Set up a separate email address (or at least a dedicated folder) to receive e-newsletters. Trial the ones you are interested in and take the time to unsubscribe from all electronic and hard copy mail that you don’t wish to receive.

‘Why bother’? I hear you ask, ‘it’s easy enough to just not read them.’

Apart from avoiding filling up your inbox, and the possibility of not being able to receive mail you do want, the psychological effect of less mail coming in will do wonders for your productivity. Not to mention your stress levels.

4. Create email order

I know, I know. Old habits are hard to break but you must if you want to have power of your inbox rather than the other way around. (By the way, Peter, how’s your email addiction going?)

Here are some effective tips to break the hold that your inbox has on you – you’ll be amazed at how much they increase your productivity.

  • Turn your email off while working on other projects.
  • Disable all flags and sounds that alert you to the never-ending flow of email.
  • Schedule one, two or three times daily to check and respond to emails – and stick to it!

5. Make phone calls in batches

Voice mail was invented for a reason. Use it as often as possible.

As with email, schedule certain times of the day to make phone calls. Phoning in blocks saves you time and energy. It also lets your brain settle into a certain space and momentum, increasing overall efficiency.

Try a minimum block of 15 minutes and a maximum of 40 minutes.

These are simple strategies to be more organised at work, but they can have an enormous impact. If you’ve got any extra tips to share I’d love to hear them, so please add a comment below.

Roz Howland

, the Productivity Professional runs programmes that will increase productivity in any business. Roz is based in Brisbane, and travels regularly to share her passion and expertise with businesses all over Australia.

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