Disorganization can spell destruction for any office’s productivity. No matter your industry, most businesses want to maximize their output in a given time frame. Keeping your workspace well organized is essential for making sure you reach that maximized output.
Even if you’ve put effort into organizing your office before, there’s always the chance it has fallen back into disarray. Here are four office organization ideas you’ll actually use so you can focus on your work instead of the clutter.
1. Create Decision Thresholds
Whether you’re a solo entrepreneur or work with a dedicated team, every day you’ll be faced with decisions. Perhaps you need to approve employee spending, or maybe you need to decide whether to move forward with a potential client. Some of your decisions will be relatively easy to make, but others may leave you stumped for hours, if not days.
Indecisiveness can cripple your productivity, so it’s important to reduce the number of decisions you need to make. One way to do that is to create decision thresholds: judgments you can easily come to based on your business values. These thresholds will help reduce how much deliberation you require to make business decisions.
For example, you could implement a threshold like a $100 monthly budget for office supplies. So anyone who needs office supplies could buy what they need up to that $100 limit without needing to consult you first. Decision thresholds help liberate you from smaller-scale decisions, allowing you mental space to consider the bigger ones.
2. Design Your Space
Your environment has a massive influence on how productive you’re able to be. A home office cluttered with paper is simply more difficult to use efficiently than a tidy one. There are also numerous organization products out there that can be bought by simply using your debit card. And while regularly straightening your space is a huge part of staying productive, so is how you design your space in the first place.
Not all designs are created equal, and there are some simple steps you can take to improve yours. It all starts with reflecting on your workflow and accommodating your space to suit it. Think about what your work entails and the critical tools you need on a daily basis. Keep them well-maintained and ready to reach at a moment’s notice — easy to grab and easy to put away.
Most offices have some digital components these days, so keep your wires neat and tidy. Label important cables so you know which is which. You don’t want to accidentally unplug your monitor during a Zoom call! Finally, take advantage of wallspace by hanging whiteboards and shelves for both storage and inspiration.
3. Digitize Analog Data
Another way you can keep your space as organized as possible is by eliminating physical clutter. Physical clutter often accumulates in the form of memos, invoices, notes, mail, and more. Like streamlining your decision thresholds, you don’t want to waste your time sorting through piles of paper.
If you haven’t already, make a habit of scanning paperwork or otherwise entering important data into spreadsheets on a computer. It’s much easier to find digital files by searching for them by name than it is to sort through them physically. That said, the first step towards digitizing your paper files is to physically sort through them. You don’t want to simply replicate outdated or unused documents in digital form if they should just be recycled.
Depending on how much paperwork you’ve accumulated, this may take a lot of up-front energy. However, it’s completely worth it, as once you’ve uploaded everything, you can create a streamlined digitizing process. After you’ve culled the treasure from the trash, upload it — preferably to a cloud-based platform. Then make a habit of immediately uploading all important paperwork that comes your way so you’ll have immediate access to it whenever necessary.
4. Use Ergonomic Furniture and Software
Decluttering physically and digitally are both important steps in improving your current working conditions. But it’s also worth considering significant upgrades to those conditions if you really want to maximize your output.
The goal of ergonomic design is to take physiological and psychological elements and apply them to increase your work efficiency. Simply put, the way you design your workspace and how you use it has an immense impact on your efficiency. Needless to say, if your back is aching or you develop a repetitive stress injury, you won’t be your most productive self. In contrast, a Washington State Department of Labor and Industries study found that introducing ergonomic furnishings boosted worker productivity by 25%.
Standard office furniture isn’t very conducive to long-term work sessions. While a standard desk and chair might feel fine for a short while, they can leave your body stressed and tired. Invest in ergonomic furniture that can adapt to your body’s unique needs to increase your productivity and comfort.
Gaining Efficiency From Organization
The way you organize your workspace can directly affect how productive you’re able to be on a daily basis. Spending too much time on small decisions will detract from your ability to make bigger, more impactful ones. And messy, cluttered spaces, both physical and digital, will hamper your efficiency.
So focus on creating thresholds that will allow you to make more impactful decisions. And invest in design that will help you keep your space, body, and mind in good shape. The more of these methods you implement, the greater improvement in your productivity you’ll be likely to see.