Organizationally Challenged

 

Almost looks like a whole new work space!
I am messy. I admit it. I am disorganized and absent-minded. I know, I know. Adults are not supposed to admit these things to each other. It’s a sign that you are unable to handle the responsibility of being an adult. I’ve been a messy person for as long as I can remember. As a child, I was regularly imprisoned in my bedroom because I was “not going anywhere until this room is clean!” (in my best mother imitation voice). This unfortunate habit has transferred itself to my workspace. During this time of year, things really pick up for Volunteer Maryland Regional Coordinators. We have events to plan, meetings to run, and projects to complete. On top of all that, we have to make sure we are providing support and resources to Volunteer Maryland Coordinators (VMCs) as they create and run programs for organizations throughout the state.

After helping a VMC and fellow AmeriCorps member work through a list of priorities for the weeks and months to come, we decided that it might be a good idea to get her workspace organized for her upcoming busy season. As I stated before, I am no organizational guru. I frantically Googled “how to organize an office space” (thank goodness for modern technology!) and compiled a list of tips for office organization.

De-cluttering Desk: keeping flat surface space clear of everything except essentials that you use multiple times per day

Get rid of the knick-knacks

Get rid of the paper: little notes add clutter.  Write everything in a notebook (transfer notes to a to-do list 10 minutes at beginning of day and 10 minutes at end of the day)

Get a notepad strictly for phone messages

Use the DELETE Button: Clear your inbox each day, file messages into labeled folders

Color Coding: keep it simple; limit your color selections to about three to five colors that correspond to basic categories, such as Finances or Evaluations

Remove the Piles: Each day, choose one pile of paper to work on. Set a timer for 15 minutes. Pick up each sheet, one at a time, and determine what action you should take. You have only four choices: Do it, Delegate it, Delay it (file it), or Dump it. If the timer goes off and you want to keep going, set it for another 15 minutes. Make use of this system for a minimum of 15 minutes per day and your piles of paper will diminish.

Easy Access: For other items you don’t use as fre­quently like paper clips, mark­ers, extra pens, etc., keep cat­e­go­rized and orga­nized in your desk draw­ers. Just make sure you keep these things where you can reach them quickly so you don’t have to dig around mess­ing every­thing up to find them.

Storing Supplies: Do not store extra sup­plies in your desk! Orga­nize extra sup­plies on shelv­ing mounted to the wall or book cases. Bet­ter yet, hide those sup­plies in a cab­i­net so you can close the doors

The Final 10: at the end of the day spend about 10 min­utes keep­ing the office space orga­nized. Go through mail, toss, or file. Throw away things you don’t need Write out a “To Do list” at the end of each day and reorganize your desk.

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