There’s no point in implementing a new set of organization ideas into your workspace if doing so is complicated, time consuming and labor intensive.
Getting organized is all about making your life easier, increasing efficiency and creating a space that motivates you! It’s also about choosing methods and hacks that work for your personality type, personal tastes and business sensibilities. The greatest organization advice in the world doesn’t matter if it doesn’t work for your business.
With that being said, here are a few of our favorite quick and dirty organization ideas to help you maximize your workspace, whether it’s a home office, a cubicle farm or an employee-packed loft space.
Dump the Paper
Have you heard of the Shoeboxed Magic Envelope?
Here’s what makes this one of our favorite organization ideas ever – using it requires absolutely zero organizational skills.
When you use the Magic Envelope, all you’re doing is dumping paper – any kind of paper – into our big blue envelope and dropping it in the mail. You don’t even pay for postage!
With the Magic Envelope, there’s no need to organize receipts, separate bank statements by quarter, or spend hours scouring old tax returns.
You could put on a blindfold, toss whatever you find into the envelope, and end up more organized than ever before.
This is because Shoeboxed does all of the organizing for you. Once we receive your envelope, we’ll scan, digitize and label each and every scrap of paper, no matter what we happen to find!
You’ll be able to assign each receipt a different category, export the data to your tax professional, and continue to make dynamic updates throughout the year. In the meantime, you’re office will have gone from a scrap-filled disaster zone to a clutter-free fortress in a matter of minutes.
So take a deep breath, grab the nearest stack of disorganized files, and see what Blue can do for you. If you haven’t tried Shoeboxed yet, sign up today for a free 30-day trial and see what Magic Envelopes can do for you!
Choose Colors that Inspire
Forget Feng Shui and all the rules you’ve ever heard about certain colors inspiring certain emotions (you know, red incites passion, green invokes calm, etc).
Instead, choose colors based on what you like. How radical is that? If you dig yellow and find that the color makes you feel motivated and energized, forget the fact that Martha Stewart recommends orange for motivation.
If you’re in a shared workspace and painting the walls isn’t an option, use a peg board to place images and inspiring shades within your line of vision. Take care to choose pictures, fabrics and knick knacks that make you feel more focused. But be choosy about the type of inspiration you’re bringing into your workspace. If you’re not careful, that “inspiring” picture of Brad Pitt in World War Z could turn into more of a distracting zombie-filled daydream.
Keep ‘em Separated
It’s not just a cool ‘90s rock song from The Offspring – while your organization ideas should flow in perfect harmony, your workspace needs to be separated into different compartments. If you’re working with a lot of people, that might even mean separating work spaces into different departments altogether.
Begin the compartmentalization process by considering your workspace, which may very well consist of a desk and a computer. Ask yourself the following questions:
1. What do I actually need and use constantly throughout my workday?
2. What do I have on my desk that I hardly ever use?
3. What is on my desk right now that may be distracting me from concentrating on the task at hand?
You probably don’t need a whole lot besides your computer. If you are still using a paper calendar, sticky notes, or – gasp – a rolodex, it may be time to go paperless (you didn’t think your desk was immune to the Magic Envelope, did you?). Swap the scraps for digital versions of everything from your calendar to your business card collection.
There may be some items on your desk that you need but rarely use, such as scissors, staplers and other supplies. Create an area in your office that is specifically designated as the supply zone, and keep it separate from your designated work zone. The less clutter you have distracting you and the more streamlined your physical workspace is, the easier it will be to concentrate.
In addition to supplies and paper clutter, it’s easy to lose momentum due to auditory distractions. If you’ve decluttered your space and have nothing to catch your eye except the glowing screen of your Macbook, you may still become distracted by the dinging, buzzing and ringing of your various applications.
Your iPhone wants to send you push notifications every time anyone you’ve ever met dares to bat an eyelash. Your email talks to you every time a new message drops into your inbox, and don’t even get us started on texting.
Turn. Everything. Off.
No, really. Turn off ALL sound notifications, on all of your devices, throughout the entirety of your work session. When it comes to organization ideas, this may be one of the most scary and one of the most effective!
Don’t worry – you’re not going to miss a single email! You are, however, going to strategically check your email a few times per day.
You’re also going to take action every time you hungrily devour your notifications – if you’re not going to answer it, delete it, or archive it, then no peeking allowed! Checking just to check is an enormous time waster.
Unless you’ve received a message that is emotionally volatile and you need some time to digest before responding, be sure to take immediate action each time you check your messages. This will save you time and maximize your efficiency throughout the day.