"100 Tips for a Lean, Mean Office Machine"

  { Connie’s 100 Tips }

For a Productive, Efficient & Inspiring Office

1.          Clear your desk of everything & give it a wipe clean.

2.         Sitting at your desk ask yourself how you want to feel in your office.

3.         Sitting at your desk ask yourself what you want to accomplish while working.

4.         Only bring back what is essential and used daily.

5.          Keep current projects labeled and in plain view.

6.         Add 1-3 things in your office that you enjoy looking at (try something fresh).

7.          Don't go overboard with personal knick-knacks.

8.          Designate a time daily for addressing the mail.

9.          Designate a time weekly for filing papers.

10.         Designate a time monthly to enter expenses and pay bills.

11.      Process the mail daily by unfolding & stapling multiple pages.

12.      Clean out your files of old paperwork making space for current papers.

13.      Keep old taxes separate from current year filed paperwork.

14.      Each year shred a year of outdated taxes 7 years past.

15.      Label hanging files in general categories.

16.      Checkpoint: How’s your progress so far? Tweak anything that’s not working.

17.      Have a trash can & recycle bin within reach.

18.      Have a “to be shredded” bin if you do a lot of shredding.

19.      Recycle all unused & outdated electronic equipment.

20.      Store all office supplies in one location.

21.      Have a spot for scratch paper near the printer.

22.      Throw out all old pens; keep ones that you like to use.

23.      Straighten your desk at the end of each day.

24.      Take everything out of your drawers and only put back what you will use.

25.      Add vertical file holders to help avoid stacking folders on top of each other.

26.      Limit current projects and related documents on your desk.

27.      Keep a paper-sized free space to your dominant side as a work space.

28.     Designate certain time periods throughout the day to check and respond to email. "The rest of the time is for work.”

29.      Disable the pop-up notices of new mail if it interrupts work flow.

30.      Get up and stretch and give your eyes & brain a rest too.

31.      Post-it notes are for short-term use only, toss once reminder is complete.

32.      Manage your emails. Delete, flag or file after you’ve read them.

33.      Use note taking Apps to reduce scraps of paper everywhere.

34.      Avoid color coded files if it stops you from adding files if you run out.

35.      Tab hanging file folders in the front.

36.      Keep an assortment of greeting cards, address labels & stamps in your desk.

37.      Batch your calls.

38.      When using more than one checking account, label each holder.

39.      Have a master to-do list for each day at your desk.

40.      Designate a place for mail and incoming papers.

41.      Create a separate drawer for personal items and paperwork.

42.      Ensure adequate lighting.

43.      Hydrate. Eat snacks.

44.      Listen to music.

45.      Control your climate to a comfortable temperature.

46.      Update your ram so your computer runs at maximum speed.

47.      Label all charging cables.

48.      Keep your business cards updated and in stock.

49.      Touch it once.

50.      Use a magazine holder for your trade magazines, recycle at years end.

51.      If you create a Vision Board have it in view.

52.      Have your Vision and Mission statement in view.

53.      Label the spine of binders.

54.      Have a shredder nearby or a box for shredding to take to a service.

55.      It’s time to toss outdated papers, overstuffed file drawers cause paper cuts.

56.      Scanners or Apps are available for scanning documents.

57.      If you take something out, put it away.

58.      Collect all receipts into one place from your wallet, car, briefcase.

59.      Your attention to organizing your office is paying off! Give yourself a pat on the back.

60.      Stuck on something? Write a date on it. Toss if not touched by that date.

61.      Clean the floors, clean window treatments and re-paint the walls.

62.      Consider a white board, cork board or large calendar to keep track of big projects.

63.      Sit in a comfortable and ergonomic chair for good posture.

64.      Assign yourself certain administrative tasks each day of the week.

65.      Set yourself up for success. Plan your day the night before.

66.      The first step to a more digitized office is organizing the physical stuff.

67.      Create file folders for your digital documents like you would your paper files.

68.      Use binder clips instead of paperclips. They hold better.

69.      Invest in a high quality stapler. Use it to keep multiple pages together.

70.      Print double-sided whenever possible to save paper.

71.      Enter contact information from business cards weekly so they don’t pile up.

72.      Dust and wipe computer monitor weekly.

73.      Enter frequent phone numbers on speed dial.

74.      On a cell phone enter contacts by group (i.e. Staff - Joe, Staff - Lucy) for quick searches.

75.      Each person in the office should have their own in box.

76.      Orientate each person to the others work style.

77.      Fold file folders at the crease, creating a flat bottom to fit more papers .

78.      Fold hanging folders at the crease for a flat bottom as file folders are added.

79.      Use a letter opener.

80.      Label the outside of file cabinet drawers if you have more than one or two.

81.      Use an accordion file or a portable file box for documents while in the field.

82.      Back up your computer files regularly.

83.      Do the most important tasks when you’re most alert.

84.      Ask for help when you need it.

85.      Time Management Tip: Exercise your ability to say “no”.

86.      Distinguish between what you can control and what you cannot.

87.      If something on your list can’t be finished in 1 day, write (Work on Project X) for (X amount of time).

88.      Write everything down as a firm commitment; it also shows the big picture.

89.      To avoid interruptions, hang a sign outside your door “Work in progress”.

90.      Schedule a “hour of power” no interruptions work time.

91.      Create a perpetual calendar for dates you want to remember.

92.      Schedule time for fun outside the office with friends & family to re-energize.

93.      Schedule time for yourself allowing time to think and move freely.

94.      Identify your procrastination techniques and steer yourself back.

95.      If you get stuck on a task, come back to it later.

96.      No miscellaneous files or piles.

97.      Simple tasks can be done while on “hold” for waiting for someone.

98.      Respect your space, if you don’t nobody else will.

99.      Assemble an earthquake / emergency kit in a small bag.

100. Straighten your desk at the end of the day! Tomorrow is full of potential!

Connie Anderson, Professional Organizer / ConnieOrganizes.com / 415-412-3103