Studies have shown that a cluttered office commonly reduces levels of productivity and your perceived level of professionalism; while it is said that clearing your office can help to clear your mind and focus on the tasks at hand. Chaotic work spaces can be overwhelming and cause anxiousness, so it makes sense that a clear, organised area has the potential to turn you into a calmer and more efficient worker. Take a look around your business’s office or work space, if you see piles of papers and files (and maybe even yesterday’s coffee cup) it is time to get organised and de-clutter.

Your office space should fuel and motivate your work rather than hinder it. If you want to be more productive consider organising parts of your work space into zones. Separate activities should be kept in separate places; this will help you to focus on just the one task at a time. Keep these areas free of clutter and it will help you to feel much more organised and in control.

Everything in your space should have a place. Designate areas for your books, file away your papers and put any items that you do not rely on constantly throughout the day into a draw to reduce the visible clutter on your desk. Another good idea is to set a limit on the size of a certain area. For instance only allow yourself one filing cabinet near your desk to keep the most important things in. When this gets full you will need to clear it out to make room for the new files, thus limiting the volume of information/documents kept in your area.

As a general rule, all horizontal surfaces should only be used for work and not for storage. A big issue for many workers is the buildup of paper. You should always have an in-tray or a certain area to keep all of your incoming papers until you can sort them out and attend to them. Not only does this cut down on a lot of the clutter but it will also help you to keep track of everything, since many of us waste too much time everyday looking for lost items.

Set a day each week to go through all of your papers to make sure you aren’t forgetting about something and look to employ the use of colour coding. Using colours to differentiate files and what needs to be done will save you time! A quick glance at the colour tab on the page, or the colour of the file should help you to recognise the file type or its level of importance – basically whatever you deem those colours to represent.

Don’t forget about your electronic files! Keep your emails in order by giving them categories, putting them into folders and making sure you keep on top of them as they come in. Aim to have read all of your emails by the end of the day and delete junk emails as they come in. Although it’s on a screen, de-cluttering your emails can be just as helpful as clearing your physical files. It is important to keep your desktop and other folders on your computer in order. Delete old files on the computer that you no longer need or save loose files into an appropriate folder.

Some other ideas on how to de-clutter your workspace include:

•   Spend the last 5 minutes of everyday to clear your desk and put things back in their place.
•   Donate any books that are outdated or you no longer need.
•   Keep all of your stationery in organised holders.
•   Don’t be afraid to throw things out! Any documents that you no longer need should either be destroyed of archived somewhere out of the way.
•   Tackle the cleaning one thing at a time, it won’t  be too overwhelming this way.

By implementing some of these steps you will be taking a step towards a more productive, calm and organised workplace. Here at The Quinn Group our experienced team of lawyers and accountants can assist you and all of your small business needs. For more information submit an online enquiry or call us on 1300 QUINNS (784 667) or +61 2 9223 9166 to book an appointment.