When Diane Albright
says you're losing it, she's not talking about your mind. She's talking about your time and money--and she's talking about a lot of it. Albright, a certified professional organizer and owner of All Bright Ideas
, citing a survey by Brother International
, reports that the average worker wastes close to two weeks a year searching for things she or he has lost or misplaced, resulting in thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars in business losses depending on the size of your business. Other surveys suggest that the numbers, both in lost hours and lost dollars, are even higher. And in today's economy, these are numbers we can't afford to get buried under.
So here are 8 easy-to-implement organizational tips that Albright recently shared with Working Mother that should not only save you some time, they should also help you become more organized and more productive at work.
- A Place for Everything and Everything in Its Place - By having a designated place for supplies and other frequently used items (and actually using it), you should always be able to quickly and easily locate the things you're looking for.
- Toss, Recycle, Donate - Throw out or recycle what doesn't work, and donate what you don't need, don't want, or don't use.
- Go Vertical - If you use it often, keep it close. But if you only use it once in a while, Albright says to store it in high or low storage spots to open up the space in between for things you do use often. She suggests shelving, wall baskets, wall-mounted file folders, and wall hooks as great ways to go vertical.
- Label, Label, Label - Labeling not only helps you stay better organized, it also helps others function more independently in your workspace. So Albright suggests that you find an easy-to-use label maker and start labeling!
- Create a Meeting Bin - Never can find what you need for a meeting? How about creating a designated bin in your work space devoted to upcoming meetings? Whenever you find something or think of something you're going to need for your next meeting, put it in the bin. Then when the time comes for the meeting, most or all of what you need will be in one place.
- Create a Pending Folder - A pending folder helps you clear off your desk and centralize pending projects. Albright suggests having a "pending" email folder as well.
- Keep a Notebook Close By - Have a notebook, call log, or journal to keep a record of telephone messages. You can also use it to jot down important notes and reminders during phone calls. This way you'll have a record of all your calls and conversations in one place.
- Get Your Desk in Order Before You Leave - Not only can a disorganized desk become an ongoing source of stress, it can also result in important taks getting lost in the chaos and clutter. Albright says that by tidying up your desk an hour before you leave, you not only may discover a task that got lost in the clutter, you might still have enough time to handle it.
For the full piece at Working Mother, go to 8 Office Organizing Tips. Or for other tips on organizing your life, you can visit DianeAlbright.com.
© 2011 Sherrie Bourg Carter, All Rights Reserved
Sherrie Bourg Carter is the author of High Octane Women: How Superachievers Can Avoid Burnout (Prometheus Books, 2011).