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Clutter free and productive

One of the conference workshops I attended last week was called “Working in a clutter-free, productive place”, run by Natasha Crestani of Inspired Honey. It was fantastic!

I must say I agree with the premise that less clutter makes it easier to concentrate and to find things, both of which make you more productive when you try to work and function. But when you get busy, it can be hard to manage the clutter.

If you tend to hoard things and surround yourself with clutter, I believe you have to be ready to let go of things or it won’t happen. But even organising your clutter will make a difference if you can’t actually lose much of it yet.

Some tips I got from Natasha – either directly or by thinking about what she said – are listed below and hopefully one or two will help you be more productive in your business/office!

  • develop a system for incoming paper – use that system on new things even if you still have piles of old papers lying around
  • reduce unnecessary papers entering your office. For example, add a ‘no junk mail’ sign to your letterbox, open all your mail next to the recycling bin so unwanted papers never reach the house/office and don’t print off emails/web pages/etc unless you really need to
  • make regular time to declutter or sort – it’s much less intimidating to tidy for 5 minutes than to sort a desk hidden under stacks of paper
  • get some sorters, document trays or upright file holders and aim for nothing lying loose on your desk when you aren’t using it. Even two or three semi-sorted piles of paper makes things easier to find than one huge pile or paper strewn everywhere
  • have a notebook to write notes in – notes from meetings, ideas that come to you, phone numbers, references to check, and so on – rather than using lots of scraps of paper that you can never find when you need them
  • have a recycling bin in your office so paper can go straight into it when you are finished with it
  • if something comes to you that can be sorted very quickly (like in less than 5 minutes) deal with it NOW as that is quicker than having to reassess it and do it later
  • use lists – getting clutter out of your mind is just as important as getting it off your desk!

What systems will work in your oficce and situation depends on you, your business and what resources you have so the bad news is that there is no magic bullet to fix clutter and disorganisation. The good news is that you can change things and become more productive 🙂

As a busy writer, I admit that sometimes my desk and office got out of control and were hidden under piles of paper. Since Natasha’s workshop, I have reduced clutter and it feels great! I am implementing new systems, too, so I will never lose my desk again!

Still, I would love to hear your business/office organisation tips so please add them as comments…

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