Friday, July 25, 2008

make your office more productive

When you think of the type of office space you want to work in...which of these two pictures comes to mind? I'm guessing that the one to the right would NOT be your first choice!
Unfortunately, for many of us, this is the type of environment we subject ourselves to on a daily basis...40 hours a week...300+ days a year! It's not good for you and surprisingly, it's not good for your employer either. Studies show that when a work environment is cluttered and disorganized, productivity decreases. This is mainly because so much time is spent looking
for misplaced items, searching through long lists of e-mail and trying to uncover the "to-do" list you know you made last week.
Taking steps to de-clutter your work environment will not only improve your work performance, it may also create a more positive mood for you and those you work with.
Here's how:
1. Begin by getting rid of all the junk mail, expired coupons, brochures, catalogs and any other items you know you won't need.
2. Next, sort through the remaining things in your work station and remove any items that shouldn't live on your desk (coffee cups, yesterday's lunch, anything that belongs to your coworkers, etc.)
3. Create "zones" for everything that is left. Have a mail zone, an in-coming and out-going zone, a filing zone, an IMPORTANT zone, etc. You create as many zones as you think you need for your specific line of work. The important thing is that you designate the zone and keep everything that relates to that zone in one place.
**When creating your zones, think of the things you use most and put those zones where they are easily accessible. Things that you use less often can be put in zones that are further away.
4. Maintenance: Now that you have your clutter-free work space, you need to have a plan to keep it that way! Tackle your zones on a weekly basis by going through steps 1 & 2. Create new zones if necessary. Make a folder for items that need future attention so they don't just sit in a pile on your desk. Go through your e-mails on a regular basis and delete all but the ones that still require your attention.

Keeping your work space organized is just as important as keeping your home organized, especially since you spend so much time there! Following these steps will decrease your stress level and increase your job satisfaction and job performance...which might just lead to a big promotion!

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