Cluttered Minds, Cluttered Office Life
A cluttered mind makes for a cluttered desk, and visual chaos feeds mental chaos – it’s a perpetual loop. While our minds don’t have an ’emptiable’ recycling bin, we can definitely try to organise our office life.
Here are a few tips and tricks that should put you on the right path.
1. Toss the unimportant
Digital hoarding is not a myth, compulsively collecting digital cyberspace items is quite commonplace for tech people like us. The tidiest of us will have useless electronic material lying around solely because: “What if I need it later?”
Well, when was the last time you used it? How difficult is it to come by? How much space does it take up? Don’t hoard what you can’t afford to – both physically and digitally speaking.
2. Treat your desktop like your desk
Would you let old documents pile up on your desk until it looks like a messy mountain of papers? No, you wouldn’t. More often than not, though, our desktops overflow with shortcuts and documents from last year’s projects.
Your desktop is your virtual desk for your current projects only. Check out these suggestions by HowTo-Geek for maintaining an immaculate desktop.
3. Name your files properly
You’re searching for a document created or downloaded only last week and are forced to open a myriad of vaguely named files until you find the right one – we’ve all been there.
In the moment, it may seem like a waste of time, but the time you use to name your files properly is time saved later when trying to sort through heaps of them. Short, concise and descriptive is what you’re looking for.
Have different versions of the same file? Don’t forget to specify which version it is so you can quickly tell the difference between example.v1, example.v2, and example.final.
4. Inbox Zero
Coined by productivity expert Merlin Mann, this is the solution to an overflowing inbox that triggers anxiety and confusion as soon as you glance at it. By archiving and auto-filtering your emails, you won’t be overloaded and will be able to focus on the most important messages.
Each to their own, so here are some unique strategies that will get you to inbox zero.
5. Cash in on technology
It’s a wonderful age in which we don’t have to scribble down our to-do lists or risk forgetting appointments anymore – we have technology!
To-do list apps with an intuitive design like Wunderlist (now Microsoft To-do) allow us to organise our responsibilities like never before. Calendly is another nifty programme that helps you avoid double-booking yourself and keeps track of your business meetings for you.
Have a drawer full of business cards that you will never sort through? Use CamCard to scan cards, automatically saving the contact details on your device without having to keep the physical versions.
Dropbox is the eighth wonder of the new tech world. When your hard drive is clogged up, you can use a little trick called “Selective Sync” to keep the crucial files on your drive. Take a look at how to do it and free up your computer before it slows down to a halt.
Are these the only ways to organise your office life? Absolutely not, but it’s a great way to start. Most of the time, the first steps are the hardest, but you will soon see a noticeable difference in your productivity.