Now that 2105 has come to a close, maybe it is time to reevaluate some business practices. One of the first places I suggest to start is your personal organizational habits. At one time or another, I bet we all have thought if I only had more time I could reach that goal or could be more productive. Have you ever thought that being more organized may offer you some of this valuable time each day to accomplish more? I feel it can. Here are 8 tips that may help you in 2016.
- Purge – Donate any office supplies or equipment that you’ve not used in the past year. If you’re work area is small you don’t have room for it anyway. Clean off your desk, file papers, scan receipts and trash anything that is past its prime.
- Maintain files – being able to find exactly what you need when you need it is a big time saver. I know many of us don’t keep actually paper files on everything anymore, but sometimes it is absolutely necessary. Whether your files are digital or paper or a combination, set up labeled files and commit to adding documents into those files as you receive them. Color coding files could be a time saver as well, green files for financial documents, red for employee documents, and blue for taxes, etc.
- Tame your inbox – cutting down on the amount of email you receive will allow you to save time, therefore being more efficient. Unsubscribe from any newsletters you no longer read and properly adjust your subscription preferences for any vendor that sends multiple emails types.
- Keep a daily To Do List – Every day I write a To Do List on paper and I check off each task as I go in red ink. I get a sense of accomplishment every time I mark that red checkmark. This works for me! Any items that I don’t complete from the past day gets carried over to the next day’s list. Now there are many ways to keep your list, it can be virtual or on paper, but give it a try. Freeing your brain to focus on the task at hand and not trying to recall what you should do next, can be an addition time saver.
- Cloud storage – if you’re not currently using cloud storage, you should. Services like Google Drive or Dropbox are very helpful in keeping those large files off your local machine and offer the ability to collaborate with other members of your team.
- Keep your calendar current – try adding new meetings or appointments to your calendar as soon as you make them. This will help you stay on time and keep from missing important meetings or objectives. If you use a virtual calendar you can even set reminders that will alert you to prepare or invite other team members.
- Set goals for the year – whether that means new personal goals or new company goals, set them and write them down. Setting new goals annually and reevaluating your goals from the previous year is a good measuring stick of your accomplishments or areas where you can improve.
- Clean up and prepare – allow 10 – 15 minutes at the close of every day to declutter your workspace, file documents, scan receipts, throw away trash or scraps of needed paper, review your calendar for the following day and carry over any uncompleted tasks from today’s To Do List to tomorrow’s To Do List. That way when you sit down at your desk next you’re organized and ready to tackle the day in an uncluttered and organized fashion.