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How to Organize Your Office

Pretending you can be productive in a messy office is crazy. A clear environment will give you a clear head. Personally, I can not sit down to work if the room is a mess. I always do a quick clean around my workspace before getting started – it's an important part of my working process.

Working at home probably means I have more stuff hanging around than those who go out to work, but the principle is the same. Almost more than 80% of the stuff we own, we do not use, and this is probably the same in the office. Have a look through your drawers and you're likely to find things you bought months ago, and bits you've not touched in years.

If you do not clean all that often, you're going to have to do a big clear-out before you can get into a routine.

The first thing you need to do is pull it all out and get rid of anything you have not used for more than six months. You may find something you could make good use of as well!

With some stimulating music on, grab a bin bag and get rid of all the rubbish that you know is rubbish. You can come back to the more complicated decisions later. While you're clearing, why not run a system defrag and a scan on your computer? Get everything soonened up!

Pieces of paper that you think you might need, put in three boxes: to throw, to sort and 'not sure'; chuck the 'throw' box as soon as it's full and take the other two to another room – filing is something you can do with a glass of wine as you gawp at the TV later. With all of paperwork removed, you can focus on cleaning the room or space you work in. If you're working on your home office, you have greater scope to do what you want; if it's at work then you'll need to consider those around you as well – why not get them involved … the more the merrier (and cleaner!).

Open the windows (better to do after you've organized the paper piles) then pull everything out of your workroom, so you can give it a good clean, vacuum and dust. Clean your computer, carefully, and rearrange all the wires. Dust the computer monitor and make sure there is not loads of dust collecting in the vent. Wipe down light fittings and drag all the cobwebs from the corners of the walls and ceiling.

Give your desk a good spritz of wood spray (if it's wood; multipurpose spray if it's a less traditional piece of furniture) and get polishing. Take the drawers out and clean them thoroughly as well.

Take your chair outside and give it a good bash. You'll be amazed at the amount of dust you've been sitting on.

With your room tidy and clean, you can now start returning everything and setting up some systems.

Putting a system in place will really help you get organized, and get your brain far more productive.

Many years ago someone told me that touching a piece of paper once will save a lot of time and enable you to work more effectively. Get a filing system in place so that when papers come to you, either sort them out immediately (pay bills online, make an arrangement by e-mail or phone) or file them ready to be sorted at your earliest convenience.

Set your desk up so that it works well for you. Keep as much as possible within arm's reach. Your chair should be adjusted so your arms are horizontal, and your eyes should be facing the top of your screen. Other postures put strain on your eyes and body, which makes working productively more more challenging. Place your monitor so that it does not have lights or a window shining on it. Glare from a monitor will give you a headache and damage your eyes: neither of which are great for effective work!

With a clean, clear, organized office, you will now be able to focus on making sure you wipe it down and sort it out quickly once a day. Doing so will mean you do not have to procrastinate again in a few months by cleaning your office when you should, in fact, be working.

Source by Samuel Duckworth

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Iowa City, Iowa AreaPerforming Arts
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