Organize Your Workspace – Organize Your Time

Organize Your Workspace – Organize Your Time

By Filomena Goldsworthy

Everyone is guilty of an occasionally messy desk but constant clutter can make you feel frazzled and pressured while you are working and rob you of precious time. Sure, you may know where everything is but how long does it take you to find it? Simple and quick solutions can improve your efficiency and limit the time you spend at your desk. Below are a few easy tips:

1. Develop a system for filtering information. Decide if you would like your customer files and projects kept in folders, binders, portfolios or baskets. Whatever you prefer, label each clearly and use the same filing option for every item. (Sticky notes don’t count as a system!)

2. Categorize information. After determining what organizational system works for you, categorize information to clearly identify current projects from old or future projects. This can be done through colour coding, filing method or placement in your organization system (ie. top shelf is future projects, middle is current and bottom is past).

3. Eliminate unnecessary items from your desk. Anything on your desk that does not get used at least once per week, does not belong there and should be cleared out. All small items such as pens and stationary should be in one location such as a basket or bin. Extra pens should be removed. (Do you really need 20 pens at your desk when you usually use the same one every day?)

4. Stay on top of organization. Every time you bring something to your desk ask yourself, “Do I need this? Should I file it or recycle it?” Deal with it in the moment and the clutter won’t pile up. Take five minutes at the end of every day to file any leftover papers and leave your desk clear so you are ready for a fresh start when you return.

5. Hire an assistant. If you are an entrepreneur or busy professional who just has too many projects to keep organized, give some consideration to hiring an assistant, either in-office or a virtual assistant. A skilled administrative professional can help streamline your daily business transactions and documents so that you can re-focus on your core tasks. A small investment in an assistant can free up a significant amount of your time and avoid hours of wading through piles of paper!

These five simple steps can make a big difference in your working environment and your overall workday. Remember that there is not one perfect method that suits everyone. Some people like to pile everything and have it in view. If you fall into that category, clear bins and open shelves will get you organized but still give you a visual of your important documents and supplies. If you like to see a clear desk and want to easily find things if and when you need them, then a filing cabinet, binders, baskets or containers with labeled and organized folders may be a better fit for you. Either way, once you put forth the small effort to get all of your clutter organized, instead of dreading sitting at your desk and having to shift piles of paper from one side of it to another, going to your desk will energize you and be a great start to each work day.

Filomena Goldsworthy is the President of Business Enhancement Services Team ([]) a Virtual Assistance company based in Canada. Filomena has been helping professionals organize their businesses since 2004. Her company provides administrative support to professionals and organizations. Working off-site and collaborating with professionals in a virtual environment, Filomena is an expert at organizing and maintaining files and information.

Filomena also has an extensive training development and delivery background and specializes in designing, developing and formatting training materials and workbooks including layout and graphics for professionals and organizations in Canada, the United States and overseas.

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