Happy Place To Work
WHERE DO YOU USUALLY WORK?
Whether your primary workplace is in a corporate setting or your home office, becoming and staying organized is crucial for your own piece of mind.
In both situations, you deal with literally tons of paperwork, interruptions, phone calls, correspondence to answer, projects, and the list goes on. Have you ever found that you move from the desk to another location when concentration is necessary? This may indicate that you don’t have a happy place to work!
STEP #1 — The first step is to eliminate the clutter. It is disturbing and will cause guilt because you constantly see all the things you should be doing.
STEP #2 — The next step is to arrange the furniture and equipment so that each is efficient and serviceable with the other. In space planning, functional furniture is important, indeed. A practical desk and side table or credenza need enough drawers and shelves to store frequently used office supplies and one or two large drawers for hanging files. Feng Shui experts teach us that our desks should face the main door (the power position) for maximum concentration, control and authority.
A window and inspiring pictures create a pleasant balance. An ergonomic chair and appropriate lighting eliminate stress for your back and eyes. Even a headset is beneficial if you spend a great deal of time on the telephone. Also, my “Near-Far Rule” defines the space within arm’s length as being reserved for items used daily and weekly. I also frequently refer to this space as “Million Dollar Real Estate.” Files and supplies accessed monthly or less frequently are stored further away.
STEP #3 — For the most productive information management, Donna’s 4-D’s Principle is beneficial — “Do It, Delay It, Delegate It or Dump It.” Quite often, clients say they don’t know where to start. My suggestion is to first sort paperwork into “Hot Action Files,” including Active Projects, To Be Filed, To Be Paid, and so on.
The “Hot Action Files” should be setup nearby … in a large desk drawer or on the desktop in a plastic “Deco Flex” file box, plastic crate or a metal vertical organizer. Attaching specific color-coded labels onto folders, which are in separate categories, speeds up the filing process and efficiency.
STEP #4 — Whether you use a calendar, daily planner or electronic organizer, block-off time to hold appointments, perform tasks and play, too. Your priorities must always be in the timetable and, in project management, tasks should be divided into stages or milestones. By working backward from the due dates, you can schedule time to complete these smaller stages of a large project.
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Reprinted with permission from Donna D. McMillan
Professional Organizer and Productivity Consultant
McMillan & Company Professional Organizing