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How to organize an office for maximum productivity

There is a lot to balance when you’re a small business owner. For instance, there’s so much to be done with every-day-tasks filling in the bulk of the “to-do” list. However, productivity can suffer when your office is an unorganized mess. In fact, it doesn’t even have to be a mess. It can simply not be as organized as it should be, and you can throw off your entire ability to focus in the way you need.

In the following article, we’ve put together a list of office organization tips you should keep in mind (or print up) so that you can prevent the potential loss of thousands of dollars in productivity.

Organizational shelving unit
Image used with permission by copyright holder

How to organize an office

Go through everything and purge

Go through your office and do a simple scan. What’s lying around on your shelves, desks, and chairs? You should sort any piles of supplies or papers. File what needs to be filed. Throw away old and unnecessary paperwork and shred what needs to be shredded. Stack current work projects neatly on your desk and move on to the next task.

Put things away

People are slobs. Even people who typically are tidy can sometimes get lax in cleaning up after themselves. Thus, it’s common to find unopened snacks, used coffee mugs, notebooks, pens, pencils, and highlighters sitting around the office. Obviously, anything not currently in use should have a home. Begin putting things in their place and watch how fast the workspace is freed of unnecessary clutter.

Make your office more efficient

To make your workspace more efficient, consider setting aside specific space for specific tasks. For instance, perhaps you like to stand and pace when on a sales call, or maybe you sit and drink your morning coffee while going through business emails. Having a dedicated space for these tasks and ensuring that you have all the right materials and supplies to support your efforts can increase your overall productivity dramatically.

Label materials

Maybe you have homes for all of your office supplies, but do you always know precisely what goes where? An easy way to ensure that everything is placed where it should be is to label storage containers, drawers, and bins. That way, you don’t have to go searching for this or that. You’ll know what resides where and can go straight to what you need when you need it.

Deep clean your desk

Aside from reducing clutter and organizing your paperwork, you should also take the time to ensure that your desk is free of dust and microbes. A cleaning crew likely gives your desk a once over, perhaps every week. Still, they probably won’t clean it as thoroughly as it ought to be. Therefore, once in a while, grab some disinfectant spray (you can find organic, non-toxic cleaners for this if you prefer), a rag, and then go over every inch of your desk. Clean the entire surface without neglecting your computer’s mouse, keyboard, and screen. Don’t forget to clean out and wipe down the inside of your desk’s drawers, either!

Sort through mail

In a world trying to go all paperless and digital, you wouldn’t think that mail could pose much of an issue. However, many companies still use snail mail and the out-of-date postal system. You may therefore have plenty of mail to sort through. To limit clutter and keep your desk free:

  • Go through your mail and sort it immediately upon delivery.
  • Toss what needs to be tossed and read what must be read.
  • Ensure you’ve got any vital information recorded, then toss that piece of paper too.

Ideally, though, you really ought to have a recycle bin for all the used paper in your office.

Clean up your digital space

A real understanding of how to organize an office isn’t limited to your physical workspace. A clean digital workstation is just as important to overall productivity as the tangible world of your office. You must be able to manage it well and keep it free of clutter and garbage too. Therefore, make a point of going through your files and folders periodically. Delete old documents that are just sitting there taking up digital real estate. Do the exact same when it comes to your email inbox.

Stacks of paper files
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The end of the story

You now have at least seven great suggestions when it comes to tidying and organizing your office for maximum productivity. If you follow them regularly (hey, find some time and schedule it if you must), you’ll find that your workspace has become a lot more inviting. Moreover, you’ll find your mind is more relaxed and more able to focus.

Something else to consider is this, showing off your organizational skills in the office is a great way to impress a manager. Remember, it’s those who show initiative and skills that every employer desires that move up the corporate ladder faster.

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Will Blesch
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Will Blesch is a copywriter, content writer, and someone passionate about anything that lets him discover more about this…
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