If your desk and your computer files are messy and disorganized, it’ll sap your energy, reduce your productivity and waste your time on trying to find things.
Furthermore, when your desk and your files are organized, it creates a sense of pride in your workspace. You’re more likely to look forward to working, rather than dreading it.
What’s the best way to organize your files?
==> Clear Filing System for Physical Papers
Do you have a clear filing system for the papers related to your business? Or are they just in random stacks of paper, where you hope to remember what they are?
It doesn’t matter what the exact system is, as long as it works for you. It can be chronological, alphabetical, by category or any other system you can think of.
==> Eliminate Your “Stuff” Drawers
People often have drawers that are just made of “stuff.” It’s where they throw things when they don’t know where else to put it.
Get a bunch of random business cards that you’ll never contact but can’t bring yourself to throw away? Toss it in “stuff.” Got an interesting advertisement that you’d like to emulate but don’t know where to put it? Toss it in “stuff.”
Pretty soon your “stuff” drawer is overflowing and you have no idea what’s in it. Important files can get lost in there, while unimportant files subtly zap your energy and sense of organization.
Eliminate your “stuff” drawers. Create folders for things like random business cards or future to-dos and file them. Even if there’s only one piece of paper in the folder, file it anyway.
Get rid of the “stuff” drawer. It’s the “under the bed” of your office.
==> Digital Organizing Essentials
Much like physical organizing, your first step with digital organizing is to create systematic folders so you know where everything is.
Think up a filing system that makes sense for you. Perhaps a different folder for every client or project. Perhaps a separate folder for deliverables versus things you’re using on a project.
Again, the actual system doesn’t matter, as long as it makes sense to you.
Create “quick links” to your most frequently used folders in the Windows file browser, on the left. Just drag and drop folders into these shortcuts for easy access.
Once again, do a deep cleaning of all the files and folders on your computer. Clean up your desktop so it’s not strewn with random files and folders. Delete files you don’t need any more and file anything that might be necessary for future reference.
Once you’ve organized your offline and online systems, schedule 30 minutes every two weeks to keep your organization system in check, and file any build-up of paperwork.