Monday, May 23, 2016

Time for some spring cleaning?

Writing in Government Executive Magazine, May 17, 2016, Barbara Hemphill says entrrepreneurs and managers often have cluttered offices.

These people, she says, think "big picture" and not "big mess."

A 2010 study by the office machine company Brother found that messy desks and time spent looking for things cost $177 billion annually. Nearly two work weeks a year per worker!

Getting and staying organized is not easy. Most offices have too much stuff. On one level, you need to regard this stuff and ask, "Does this help me accomplish my work or enjoy my life?" If you say no, but still hang onto the item, then ask: "What is the worst possible thing that could happen if I trash this?"

I used to go through piles and find things I did not know I had--but then I would think, if I didn't know I had this, I would never have looked for it--so toss.

Or donate or recycle (say books you will never read again).

Here are six tools Hemphill suggests:

Three containers--In, Out, File. Put them in reach of your deskchair.

Wastebasket/recycle/shred. Make it easy to put each item someplace.

Calendar. Get rid of the Post-Its and note reminders--get a calendar.

Contact management system. Names, addresses, phone, emails... In one spot.

Action files. These are close to your desk.

Reference files. You may not need these on a daily basis, but you don't want to throw them away.

Then you need to maintain this. If you can't, hire someone who can.

Sounds so simple...

Hey! I just threw away this's a start.

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