A very long time ago I created an office at home for my business. Before I wrote this blog and started a career in digital publishing, I used to run a virtual assistance business, providing PA and marketing support to my clients.
To be effective and provide a professional service, I needed some dedicated space for work that didn’t involve the kitchen table! So I carved out a corner, in a bright room at the back of the house for my office. It started with just a desk and a filing cabinet and over the years it has grown into a fully functioning office with my printer, shredder, supplies cupboard, files and shelving and a mini fridge to keep the bubbly in for a big client win!
Keeping my office clean and tidy is fairly straightforward because it is in my home so I just include it with my weekly housework. However if you run a company with premises, you will need to look at using the services of a commercial cleaning company.
However no matter where your business is located, there are some things that you can easily do on a weekly basis to keep things as organised as possible, and this will help when you are about to do a big clean:
Keep on top of paperwork. Ensure that invoices get filed, receipts stored in an envelope with the month written on it to make it easier for your end of year book-keeping and tasks ‘to do’ are either allocated a day to do them or the tasks get done then you can clear the paperwork.
Create systems for workflow. Install a system for assigning priority to a task and planning when to complete the task. I use a combination of an old school desk diary and a filing system with the days of the month on so I know when I will do each task. I use digital reminders for time sensitive jobs and have a policy of only touching a task or piece of paper once. Then it will be decided instantly whether to do it now, file for another day or delete. I make decisions in the moment because put something to one side to do later only creates a pile of clutter on my desk.
Do little and often. I find it easier to keep on top of things by attending to them a little at a time. So rather than put something off until after and keep putting it off (because the longer it sits there, the more you start to dread actually doing it!) I do what I can now to get the ball rolling then assign the project another day when I will do a little more. This way all my tasks are moving along in some way – the higher priority tasks just move a little quicker!
What do you do to keep tidy and organised at work?