Lesson 8 – Getting Organized

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Getting Organized
Getting rid of clutter is one of the best things we can do to make a more efficient work environment. For some people, this is a daunting task. If you tend to accumulate clutter, or are embarrassed about it, this task can best be done on a weekend, and with a friend.
In this lesson, we will step you through how to organize your workspace, focusing on your desk and your files. We recommend that when you schedule time for this task, you double it. An hour to clean out our office never seems to be quite enough, so allow yourself the luxury of two hours instead.
 
Surface of the Desk
Look at your desk. The object is to purge both the work surface and the contents of the desk. If the surface is already clear, that’s great! However, if there are items on the desk, ask yourself if they are necessary and/or in an effective location.

  • Check the position of the desk: Is it facing the door and making interruptions more likely?
  • Is the lighting adequate?
  • Is the phone where it can be reached easily?
  • Is there a better arrangement possible?
  • Is the seating/chair adequate?

Your first step should be to get rid of things that should NOT be on the desk. Check everywhere. Look under the blotter, on the walls surrounding the desk, in trays, etc. Collect all bits and pieces and de-clutter by noting the information in an appropriate spot and discarding it.
 
Contents of the Desk
Then move to the contents of the desk. Focus first on the tools you use, such as pens, pencils, and erasers.
Check to make sure of the following:

  • You have all the tools you need and they are in good working order.
  • Tools are organized so that similar tools are together and easily accessible. Useless tools should be discarded or moved to an area to be fixed.
  • Group like items together; for example, stationery, envelopes, and stamps are all in one drawer.
  • Store any extra supplies in a supply area.
  • Tools should be stored in a shallow desk drawer and are not on the desk.