One of the top New Year’s resolutions on many lists each year is the decision to “get organized”. Of course this thought means different things to different businesses, and we all know that most of the time the resolution looks great on paper but accomplishing the task is not always so easy. Just like losing weight and stopping smoking, becoming “organized” is something to be accomplished one step at a time and one day at a time. It’s a process, not an event.
There are many different types of organization and the steps to take to improve differ according to the type of organizational challenge you face. For instance, if you want to organize the space you work in, think of your work area as a box and look at all of the sides of that box as well as the top and bottom. What can you do to improve the overall layout? You might change the way the furniture is placed to keep from stepping over cords all day or walking around your desk each time you stand up to move about the space. Or, simply move the monitor on your desk so the sun does not distract you at the same time each afternoon.
If changing a certain system in the office you work in is your main organizational challenge, look at your desk area and it will give you many clues to becoming better organized. If there is paper everywhere you may be a “piler” or a “stacker”. Piling or stacking paper is not a problem in and of itself. The problem happens when the piles and stacks have no place to live when it’s time to put them away. Or maybe they are stacked according to date, or category, or action to be taken. Whatever the reason, it’s ok to pile and stack as long as there is a designated time when the pile is no longer needed and there is a place for the pile to call “home” when the date of completion has arrived.
Ask yourself these questions:
Do I really want to pay X $ per square foot to pile, stack and store paper, supplies and other items I no longer need?
Do I enjoy breathing into my lungs the contaminated dust particles produced by these stacks and piles?
Am I able to focus and accomplish my work well even with all the distractions due to the piles?
If the answer to any of these is “No” you have options!
Another type of disorganization many businesses face is the challenge of disorganized technology. How much time do you waste and stress do you add to your day by doing things that are not your core competency? If the answer is “too much” then this is another type of disorganization you need to consider. Are you dealing with outdated technology or lack of regular tech maintenance? Who monitors your on site / off site back up system? (Do you have a backup system?) Take time to discover the main points of pain for all the technology issues in your office and then address them with the help of professionals.
In this New Year, a good organizing resolution is to reduce your stress, do what you do well, and allow others to help you. Organization is not about being “perfect”. It’s a process of improving, not an event.