Have you ever been so overwhelmed with something that you don’t know where to start?
That’s exactly how I’ve been feeling every time I walk into my office. It’s become a “catch all” type of room, and anything that doesn’t have a better home somehow finds a way into my office. Although, the accumulation of stuff brings enough challenges, it’s not the biggest one for me.
The greatest challenge I have in keeping an organized office space is paperwork. Lots and LOTS of PAPERWORK.
Somehow I’ve accumulated a ton files and (and dare I say piles) of paper over the years. The quantity is not only overwhelming, but not having them stored properly really hindered my ability to be productive .
I had a few hours this past weekend to get some work done but I couldn’t seem to get my brain functioning. Knowing that I had piles of paper stacked around me and even more paperwork in boxes from our recent move was haunting me.
So, I decided to tackle the problem!
Now, keep in mind that if I was helping someone else get organized this would have seem like an easy task. But, for some reason, when it came to organizing my own space I couldn’t get traction.
So, I decided to seek the advise of a professional and pulled out Simplify Your Space: Create Order and Reduce Stress by Marcia Ramsland. Flipping to the table of contents, I was thrilled to see there was a chapter on office space. A few pages in I read the following tip:
To sort papers more quickly, start at the back of a file or the bottom of your in-box. Older papers are easier to toss than recent ones.
Now that seemed like some practical advise!
Ramsland’s advise on the next page is what really put me into overdrive though.
Sort your paperwork by asking, “Is this paper worth my time and space to deal with it?” If the answer is no, let it go. If the answer is yes, get it done as soon as possible.
It was completely obvious to me that the unprocessed paperwork in my office was not worth the mental energy I was spending on it; nor was it worth taking up valuable space. That space could be better utilized by helping me organize my current projects!
I decided to start by tackling just one thing. I really wanted to go through the piles of paper on the floor, but since I needed to clear out some room first the two file drawers in my desk were the place to begin. If I could make space in those drawers, I knew it would help me progress with the rest.
That first drawer was cleared out in 15 minutes flat! The success gave me a bit of momentum so I just kept chugging along. I didn’t want to stop working! A few hours in, I finally made it to the piles on the floor.
Success! I literally felt the relief in my body.
I’m proud to say that I now have a clean and organized office! And, I fully expect to tackle my to-do list with vigor and excitement today! One thing on that to-do list: update my cleaning schedule to include office organization so this never happens again!
How about you? Is your office or work space organized in such a way to encourage productivity? Or, if you’re office is in need of an overhaul like mine was, do you think the two tips listed above could help you get started?
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