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.