Your desk is your home for quite a few hours each day. You want it to be a pleasant place to work, but you do need to make sure that you leave yourself plenty of room to actually get your work done. By staying on top of work as it comes in, you won’t ever have to climb a mountain of paperwork to do your daily job.
1 Don’t put too much emphasis on multi-tasking. If you are working on three projects at once, you may clutter your desk with paperwork from all three. This means you’re not allowing yourself a clear space for each project you need to complete. List the tasks you need to do, and do the most important tasks first, one at a time.
2. Purge paperwork on a regular basis. A lot of the paper you accumulate is not essential to your job. If it’s not something you need, get rid of it. Much of the paperwork you save in case you might need it later will never be needed at all. A paper maintenance system is a great way to keep your desk clutter-free.
3 Consider an electronic calendar that syncs your appointments on your phone and your computer. Create and maintain habits that will add structure to your day. Use a calendar for meetings and projects, and leave yourself 10 or 15 minutes at the end of your workday to tidy your desk and have it ready for your next day.
4 Set realistic goals for yourself. Set achievable objectives in the job related tasks you need to complete. Accomplishing tasks related to your job will help you to stay on track and still feel that sense of accomplishment. Realistic goals will also remind you what you can do in a day, as opposed to what you eventually need to do, for the completion of each project.
Communicate your daily status to superiors and coworkers. This will help you to stay on track and not become bogged down. Finish work as needed and don’t let work stack up as it comes in. Be specific about the goals you set each day and give yourself specific assignments.
5 Use trays to help in organizing your paperwork. It’s incredible, but even with the amount of work done on computers today, there is still a lot of paperwork involved in business work. Use separate trays to keep paperwork organized as you generate it.
Organization is a process, not an event. Concentrate on keeping clutter at bay, so it won’t become a battle against paperwork and other materials. In this way, you won’t lose the small percentage of paperwork that you will actually need, weeks or months from now.
At IAAB we strive to stay organized – perhaps the “accountant” in all of us here helps that process a bit – but we thought we would share some of our secrets!