How’s your workspace? Is it a dream to walk into, sit down and put your hands on exactly what you need to perform your next task?
Or is it a chaotic, frustrating mess? Getting a handle on the major workspace tools of paper, electronic documents, office supplies, and an efficient use of space is the perfect place to start.
Working in a coworking environment like Gather can help in all these areas.
1. Paper Clutter
Paper can be the biggest deterrent to office organization. But, there are ways to conquer those messy stacks.
- Concentrate on one pile at a time to avoid becoming overwhelmed.
- Order each stack so you know where everything is.
- Then sort each sheet into a clear physical filing system for future reference to further order your hard copy paperwork.
- Three folders labeled:
- Three folders labeled:
Store paperwork closest to where it’s used whether at the corner of your desk in horizontal trays, in vertical file holders on an adjacent wall or in your drawer’s hanging files. Create an action item on your calendar for every incoming piece of paper that doesn’t immediately land in the trashcan or shredder.
If you are a remote worker at a coworking space like Gather, pick up your mail from your dedicated post office box and always process each piece immediately. Clutter can be avoided when you make fast choices to keep or toss.
2. Electronic Documents
Just like your physical paper files, electronic documents must be categorized in an efficient manner.
- Minimize paper clutter by digitizing each sheet by scanning them into a computer file or taking a photo of the document on your smartphone.
- Replace sticky notes with an app on your computer or cellphone such as Google Keep or Evernote. Mobile apps, such as DocScanner are available for document scanning. Today, even inexpensive multifunction printers usually include a scanner. Saving these on the Cloud makes them available anywhere such as a coworking space at Gather. This puts the flexible in flexible work environment.
Plan the hierarchy of your digital folders to efficiently navigate to a particular document. Version control and a consistent folder system is vital. Each document name in a series should include the number of the latest draft. There is nothing worse than returning to a document edit only to find you navigated to the wrong version.
Of course, protecting the safety and security of your documents is essential. Buy a large capacity external hard drive and back up your system frequently. Go one step further by storing your hard drive in a fire-safe box or offsite. Another added measure of security is to utilize Cloud storage.
Store where it’s used. On average, messy desks cost corporate America $177 billion per year in lost productivity. A clean desk is calm and inviting. It keeps you organized and productive. If you are stressing over your desk, it’s difficult to focus on your task.
Minimize unnecessary office supplies as you gain peace in a well-organized workspace. First, take time to clarify how you want your space to work. This facilitates the keep-or-toss decisions. Assess the need for each item taking up real estate on your desktop. A physical clock is redundant if you have a cellphone or smartwatch. If you must have a larger timepiece, invest in a wall clock.
Are there items taking up real estate that could be stored elsewhere? Place books on a wall shelf instead of on your desk. Donate unread books unless you have realistic plans to read them. Donate pre-read books you’ll never read again. Keep or lend books you’ve read that influence your life. Finally, keep books you have already read and know you will want to return to.
Consider a Gather membership with a private office space to push reset on your freshly organized office. Gather encourages you to personalize your space with furniture and decor to maximize your comfort and drive your productivity even higher.
Small business owners "wear so many hats, they usually have pretty limited support staff, and they're idea factories," says Julie Morgenstern, a productivity consultant and the author of Organizing from the Inside Out. "Your workspace has to be organized in a way that accommodates that.”
Switching to a new environment allows you to refresh your mind and consider alternative solutions to business problems. Occasionally, we all need a do over. Starting over at Gather provides visually pleasing, and most importantly, well-designed workspaces. Work in a communal space or consider moving to a private office or dedicated desk. Benefit to entrepreneurs? Gather Community Managers take care of many administrative duties for your organization, so you don’t have to.
How to Keep Your Workspace Organized Going Forward
Weekly, take a brief time to organize your desk and drawers: put papers and tools away, clear your desktop of anything not being used, and utilize other items in your office to store tools.
The best gauge of a well-organized worker is their sense of peace and an efficient, comfortable workspace.