An organized office means an organized company. Whether you work out of a home office or a real office (in a business centre or company building), keeping organized is an important factor in your work motivation, your productivity and your company image, for when those clients come by to visit.
Although being busy can mean less time for organizing, here are some tips you can incorporate into your daily routine to keep things looking less hectic than they are.
First of all, put all the things that need filing into a big pile. That will keep them out of the way until you have time for filing. Yes, it sounds like a contradiction to staying organized, but keep reading.
Whatever's left after you've made the filing pile should get cleaned up. Take that stapler back to where you stole it from and move last week's donut to the garbage dump.
Dust your desk, it's gross under all that stuff. Get behind your computer too.
Now that your desk is clear (or should be by now), start making you're your piles of things that need to be filed into smaller piles, based on where they need to go. You might find you need to create new files for new things you've discovered. Incorporate a system, either alphabetical or sorted by date or perhaps numerical if we're talking invoices here.
If the above step is too hard for you to manage, hire a professional organizer. They can do wonders for you, and make it easier to get it done in the future.
Invest in filing cabinet, or more filing cabinets if the one you have isn't cutting it. Let's face it, although we like to go green as much as possible, some things are still on paper. You might have folders and places for things, but your office will look nicer when all those papers are neatly tucked away in a drawer that you can open up anytime and find exactly what you're looking for.
Start looking into software systems that can keep everything organized electronically for you. For example, use a CRM for your sales jobs, and an invoicing system for your accounting department. That will reduce paper and lost notes, and will also keep you on top of things.
From now on, whenever you collect marketing material from a tradeshow, brochure stand or in the mail, make sure you put it in a special folder. When it's time to do marketing, you know where to go. And having that folder there will remind you to do your marketing.
Create a priority to-do list. Rate your duties as 'A', 'B' or 'C'. Give yourself a check mark when you get things done on your list, it will make you feel like you've accomplished something and you can look back and see that despite not feeling it, you have been very productive.
Go through your email box and dedicate a time to create folders to sort out your inbox. Delete the irrelevant stuff and respond to the e-mails you've ignored for a while. Now the next time you get an e-mail from someone, you can file it away asap because you've got a folder for it. It will keep your inbox clean and less daunting.
Use a rolodex or a business card book holder to store all the business cards and contact you collect. Alphabeticalize them if you can. Now you'll be able to ring someone in no time.
Whatever documents you'll need outside the office, make sure you store electronically either on a VPN or, if safe enough for your company, on a tool like Google docs. That way even if your computer crashes at work you'll still have copies of what you need.
How'z that for a start? Enough to go on for sure! Implement these steps and if you can't, it's a sign you need office staff to assist you!