If you don’t pay attention to it, your office can quickly turn into a pretty messy place. The mess can negatively impact your productivity and the way your colleges perceive you. One HuffPost article claims that cluttered desk can lower your chances of being promoted by 28%. A lot of this mess is due to poor organization of all the documents that pile up in your office. That being said, here are a couple of ways you can efficiently organize your documents.
Observe and Develop a System
Pause for a moment of silence and observe your office. No, this has nothing to do with meditation, but the observation of your workplace. If it is a mess, you have to do something about it. But before you start organizing things, first think about your work routines.
Where do you keep your documents? Do you have a system for storing these documents? Are you holding these documents in drawers, filing cabinets, boxes? If you do, are these things organized or are they in a mess? Can you spot the files you often use without wasting your time?
If you have trouble finding and storing files, come up with the system that will make things easier for you. For example, you can store the documents alphabetically or according to the age of those files. What are the most relevant data? You could also use different colors. For example, storing the most important documents in red box will help you tremendously.
Organize and Categorize Your Files
Though digitalization is coming, it is coming very slow because institutions and business still use paper as the primary data-storing medium. It is because of this that documents can quickly overwhelm your desk, filing cabinets, drawers, etc. And it is not that humans consciously and intentionally do this, it primarily because they work under pressure.
The stronger the pressure, the less time and motivation for organizing your documents. However, this is a habit, not rocket science, and it can be developed over time. If you organize your documents, categorize them and store them in the predetermined place, you will save a lot of time in the future.
Why should you do this? Productivity and appeal. According to Forbes, OfficeMax did research in which they found that office clutter undermines your productivity. Moreover, the same article mentions one Addeco survey: the survey showed that 57% of Americans judge their co-workers based on how tidy their workplace is.
Organize Digital Documents
Not all documents are paper documents. It is needless to say that you should go paperless whenever you can; the less paper, the better. One Forbes article suggests that going digital can save money, is good for the environment, saves time, increases the security of the files, etc.
However, despite the fact that you can easily organize your desktop, people turn their desktops into a cluttered digital space. Keeping your desktop and email clean should be your number one priority when it comes to organizing your digital files. If you can’t do this manually, consider searching for software that will help you organize your digital data.
The purpose of a computer is to make things easier, not harder. HuffPost suggests you store data in separate folders, creating folders within a folders (categorization), deleting old files, deleting software you don’t use, etc.
It Is Time To Purge
While it is crucial to store your files accordingly, it is also important that you get rid of the documents you don’t need. Purging old and unnecessary documentation can be more fun than you think. More importantly, it is also very efficient. If you don’t purge your office from outdated and unneeded documents, soon you will run out of space.
Not to mention that these files can cause confusion and consume time when you start looking for the documents that you need. Just make sure that you don’t throw away materials you will need or use in the future.
Explain the System To Co-workers
All that has been said previously can mean nothing if your colleagues mess it up. Naturally, it is a lot easier to keep the office clean if you don’t share it with anyone else. But if you share it with someone else, explain to them why is vital to follow the system.
Moreover, you can come with one together, which is unquestionably plausible and preferable. If your colleague doesn’t grasp the importance of good organization, explain them the benefits of keeping the documents in check.