Staying Organized In Your Home Office
Nothing makes working from a home office more frustrating than not being able to find anything when you need it. While most business owners see themselves as being busy all the time, some of your time has to be spent in staying organized. If not daily, at least once a week you have to set aside time to put everything in its place. Most mechanics have a rule that there is a place for everything and everything needs to be in its place. Many people have to find the time to do things over, but seldom have the time to do it right the first time. Usually because they can’t find a file, they will have to recreate it, which will take a lot more time than the five seconds it might have taken to put it in its right place to begin with.
Being able to find the staples when your stapler runs out can save a precious few minutes you will spend going through the desk drawers, or worse going to the store to buy more, knowing you have a new box somewhere in the office. The amount of office supplies you maintain in the home office will depend on the business as well as your budget. Regardless, don’t let your desk become a storage area for your supplies. Use an old dresser of bookcase on which to keep your office supplies, while keeping only a small stash on your desk or in the desk drawers. When you put supplies in a storage area, make sure the tags are visible for easy identification.
To keep your office running smooth, consider your desk the focal point of the office. All of the equipment that is frequently used needs to be within easy reach of your desk chair. If you have to get up every few minutes to answer the phone, grab a fax or check the printer, you are wasting several precious minutes everyday reaching for things. Files that you are currently working on should be in easy reach, whether in a file cabinet next to your desk or in an upright file holder on your desk or adjacent table. Ideally, you can pull al the files you intend to conquer that day and have them ready to work on at any time during the day. Files you are not going to touch should be put in their proper place so they can be easily found when they are needed. While it may seem easier, especially for caffeine addicts to have their coffee pot near their desk, it is a bad idea overall. First, too much coffee can be bad for the health as well as a contributing factor to extra bathroom breaks. However, the primary reason is the potential for a damaging coffee spill by drinking coffee at your desk. Everyone needs to take a break from their work periodically, and having the coffee pot in a separate room can force you to take a few minutes to clear your head.
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