Whether you work at a corner of the dining room table, in the spare bedroom or in your own private office, staying organized can pose one of your biggest challenges as an entrepreneur. Many of us let filing and organizing go during busy times and think we'll deal with everything when we "have time." But beware of the clutter trap; it can truly take on a life of its own. A messy desk and chaotic filing system siphons off your time, energy, focus and productivity. Here are some tips for getting organized and staying that way in your home office.
Paper is the problem for most people these days. If you're starting out with a huge pile of paper and other stuff on and around your desk, devote a small amount of time -- half an hour -- daily going through the stuff. This makes a big job more manageable. As you go through your stacks of paper, ask yourself: Do I need this? Why?
Items you use daily belong on your desk. Your computer, pens, calendar, message pad and anything else that's part of your daily routine can stay. Other items such as Scotch tape, stapler, calculator, writing paper and so on should be stored in your desk drawer -- handy to get at, but not in the way when you don't need them. Fax and computer paper, extra pens, file folders and the like can be put in a cabinet across the room.
Open your mail over the recycling bin and have your filing system nearby.
Don't keep household paperwork such as bills, catalogs, vacation brochures and other personal items where they can distract you. Blending business and personal work at your desk is usually distracting.
Spend the last 10 to 15 minutes of each day getting your desk in order and ready for the start of a new day. There is nothing more discouraging than walking in first thing in the morning to a cluttered desk!
Organized people save time and money, make more money, and have lower stress and frustration levels.
Once you've worked your way through these tips, you will have a workspace that makes you look forward to getting down to business every day.