Organizing to be Productive

 

As I get ready to head back to Arizona for the baseball off-season, I realize that I have a lot to do. I’m lucky that I work from home, and this time of year so does my husband. But I can get distracted very easily. All of this chaos takes a toll on my mind and well-being.

 

Last year, I did most of my work at our dining table – staying handy to keep the dogs out of my husband’s way so we could be together. However, that really needs to change this year.

 

I want to be more productive and increase my business, so I need to establish an organized, streamlined and attractive work space. Cleaning up my office will truly make my well-being liven up. An organized space is one step closer to an organized life.

 

I have all the necessary pieces, so now I need to get it done!

 

Purging

 

I did a little research to get prepared so I’m not distracted while I attempt to organize. HGTV.com had some great tips that were easy to follow, and some I already use regularly. The first step they recommend is to purge the paper. I’m also going to purge the unnecessary items from my space. So, I’ll first pull out all of the things that don’t need to be in my office – like the air mattress currently residing there – and then I’ll tackle the paper. I have a feeling that my shredder is going to get a workout. There are those things that you just need to keep, but don’t necessarily need out all the time. I’ll put those papers into envelopes, label them and put them in bank storage boxes. As the years roll by, I purge those. It might be time to look at that. Yikes!

 

Color Coding?

 

Since this space is used for business and personal, HGTV advises a color-coded filing system to make things easy to find.

 

I’m not taking it this far. I have a file cabinet that has a couple of drawers: one for personal papers, one for business papers. Each file is neatly labeled and alphabetized. That’s about all I’m mentally prepared for at this time. However, some of you may love this idea, and I think it’s a great one. I may do this in the future if business gets really busy, but for now I’m good.

 

Creating Stations

 

Who likes to grab their mail, look through it quickly for anything urgent and then throw it on a desk or table? ME! I pay all of my bills online and have most of the statements emailed to me. But there’s always a paper trail, and I tend to let it accumulate. But instead, you can organize a mail station: incoming, outgoing, bills, personal, etc. Each week, go through it and file appropriately.

 

A printing station would also save time. Currently, my printer sits on top of my file cabinet. Paper and spare cartridges are in another cabinet. I’m going to streamline this so everything I need to print is in one spot, near my computer. Why didn’t I think of this earlier?

 

Proper Storage

 

These next few steps kind of go hand in hand, in my opinion. You want to use containers to properly store items such as pens, paper clips, markers, sticky notes, and all the other miscellaneous items so they are easy to find. Then bust out the label maker, so each container is labeled in a legible manner. Your handwriting may be neat, but not that neat. After everything is in containers and labeled, put them in places that are easy for you to access. I don’t want to waste time searching for stupid sticky notes or paper clips!

 

The goal is to streamline and increase productivity.

 

Books and Binders

 

We have a lot of books… and I mean a lot! It’s probably time to go through and purge these as needed, and update where it’s warranted. Donating books to schools and doctors offices is a good idea too! If you have books in your office, organize those shelves. You can group by category, alphabetize or whatever your heart desires as long as you know where they are. I have both, so I’m going to put our reference/business books up top in the easy to access shelves, while the pleasure books will go on the bottom.

 

You can also store binders, that you label, on your shelves. To make life easy, organize life binders. Put important papers in sleeves in the binders so you can access them as needed. Now, I don’t mean the bills, but medical reports, car information, manuals, or anything else you need to keep but might not need every day.

 

Use Your Walls

 

I really like motivational quotes. I’m thinking that not only will I put up a bulletin board with a to do list, or important notes, but I may put up some quotes on the walls to keep me going. They can also be used for more shelving or hanging files systems if you need more storage. It’s your space so fill it how you choose.

 

I’m focusing on a home office, but a lot of these tips can help you organize your work space outside the home as well.

 

Let me know if you try any of these ideas out, or if you already have some in place. Organization can help keep your psyche and well-being in check.

 

Sometimes it’s the little things in life—like purging old papers and color coding binders—that make the biggest difference!

 

Bethany

Bethany Kochan started her fitness career at a local women’s fitness center at 19 years of age. This part-time job lead to a career that over 20 years later, she still loves. Bethany earned her B.S. in Exercise Science from Southern Illinois University Carbondale at the same time becoming certified as a group exercise instructor. After college, she pursued NSCA-CPT and CSCS, group cycling, mat Pilates and YogaFit certifications. In 2009, she and her husband made a big move across the country to pursue his dream job in the field of strength and conditioning. At this point, Bethany began writing and training online to be both with her husband and the fitness industry. Today, the Kochans split their time between AZ and CA, pursuing their passions and enjoying life together with their two rescue Weimaraners.