The new year has arrived! That means it’s time to get organized to meet the challenges and opportunities coming your way in the next 12 months. In fact, January is the perfect time to declutter – to honor that, the National Association of Productivity and Organization has launched “GO Month” (get organized month).
There are plenty of studies that show the positive effects a well-organized space has, both at home and at work. For example, a recent Princeton University study found that too many stimuli (aka – clutter) reduce our ability to concentrate.
So how can you improve your environment (and your customers’!) in 2019 to increase productivity? Here are three key steps to help:
- Throw Out Everything You Don’t Need – and Let it Go! The less stuff you have, the easier it is to get organized. So the first step is throw away, donate, recycle or repurpose everything you don’t absolutely need. This includes out-of-date documents, old mail, useless knick-knacks, dried out pens, and broken or outdated technology and equipment. Go through file cabinets, shred tax documents you no longer need, go through devices and delete old emails and documents.
- Get the Tools and Supplies You Need to be More Efficient. January is the perfect time to get the tools and supplies for a productive year. Stock up on fresh hanging folders, staplers, paper clips, and other basics. Get a shredder to quickly handle documents and mail before it piles up on your desk. Remember, mental organization is important too! A calendar or planner gives you a place to write down your daily or weekly to-do lists to help you stay focused and on track.
- Create New Organizational Systems. Organization is an ongoing process. Create systems that you can stick with throughout the year. For example, have storage containers to place mail and other documents so they’re not piled up on your desk. Schedule some time to go through them once a week and toss everything that doesn’t need to be kept. Just a simple system like this can help you stay organized all year long.
Before it gets too busy, devote a little time to organizing your work area, and you’ll reap the productivity benefits for the rest of 2019 and beyond.
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