It’s been another busy day in the sales department. You run from appointment to appointment with little time to finish up the paperwork on your active accounts. A coworker comes to you looking for the Smith file. You have over 10 active accounts and can’t seem to find it. It could be waiting for the customer’s proof of income, pending bank approval, with the accounting department or even the title department. There’s no time to look for it with another appointment lined up in a couple of minutes. “I’ll have to look for it tonight,” you say as you walk out of your office.
Once the afternoon slows down, you catch a break at your desk. As you look around you see the problem at hand. Your desk, and your office for that matter, are disorganized. It’s clearly time for an overhaul. With little down time, how can you get ahead?
1. Set aside some time
According to Time-Management-Success.com, the first step in organizing your space is blocking out time to purge what you don’t need. Admitting that you have a problem is the first step, right? If you or someone you know can acknowledge that you have an organization problem, it’s probably time to start fixing it. Start by setting aside a few hours to tackle the purge. Yes, that means you will have to block out your calendar and avoid appointments. In this article from CNN, Lisa Zaslow states that “Surveys show the average person loses an hour a day to disorganization.” If you increase your work schedule by an hour per day, how many more sales could you earn? By tackling your disorganized space, you will achieve more than just sales. You will benefit yourself with less stress, feel more in control of your day and be more productive.
2. Create a process
Every task in your business is part of a bigger process. The process is in place to keep the department productive and efficient. Your organization and how you handle your paperwork is another piece of your day. Establish the process and how you handle your paperwork. Once you establish how to handle each type of paper, you can begin tackling the paper on your desk into 3 categories: File, Scan, or Shred. Often times the paper that is sitting on your desk is there because you are unsure of how to handle it. It feels too important to shred… I may need to refer to it later… And it never leaves your desk.
When creating your process, anticipate that you will have paperwork that doesn’t have a folder already. Create a folder (digital or other) to hold this document. Centralize all of your reference manuals in one place.
3. Keep it digital
Scanning and storing your paperwork digitally will eliminate a lot of paper from your desk. Every receipt you are holding for taxes at the end of the year can be scanned and stored electronically. Using an electronic document storage solution such as Scan123 will eliminate paper from stacking on your desk while keeping it safely stored away in the cloud. You can even scan away from your desk with a scanning app like Scan123, which allows you to quickly take a picture of your receipt or other document and upload it safely to your filing system in the cloud. Maximize your efficiency by trying to handle each document as least often as possible. How many times do you pick up a stack of paper to sift through and find a specific paper and set the stack back down on your desk? Are you able to handle a document only once? If you use this process, you will handle paperwork far less often than you are now. Think about how much time and space you will save without looking at that paper again!
Maintain your digital files by reviewing the files you don’t use each year for purging. Set it and forget happens in computer filing, too. Make sure the files you aren’t deleting you actually want to keep. Keeping your digital storage clear of clutter will reap as many benefits as keeping your desk clean.
4. Clear your desk
In Kathryn Vasel’s article on CNN, “Here’s how your desk should be organized” Vasel provides a visual guide on how you should layout your desk for the most productivity. Limit your desk to essential equipment and supplies you will use everyday. Anything that you don’t use everyday should be kept out of sight to avoid distracting yourself and leading to clutter. “Embrace white space” on your desk by allowing enough “designated work space to make it easier to review or sign documents.” Remember, this organization is for you and your productivity. Create a workspace that makes the most sense for you and your needs.
5. Upgrade your computer and office equipment
We all hope that our computers will last forever and need little to no maintenance. Unfortunately, when you try to hang onto older equipment, you often find yourself battling through slower processing speeds and inconvenient equipment crashes. Computers run best on the latest system upgrades, frequent restarts and upgraded hardware. Create a system with your IT department to make sure all of your hardware has enough memory and speed as well as enough hard drive space to handle your business needs. You aren’t saving yourself any money when you have wasted time waiting for your old equipment to catch up.
Upgrade any printers, copiers, or scanners as well. Newer models will offer faster start up speeds, print/scan speeds as well as increase connectivity. If you appreciate all of the new phone apps that are available for download every day, you will also appreciate all of the settings you can modify on your printer and copier. All of these upgrades make your office more functional as well as take up less space in your office.
6. Weekly Maintenance
Yep, you knew that was coming. In order to stay on top of your organization it requires daily filing and weekly maintenance. Don’t let your paperwork or files get out of hand by doing nothing. Take action by handling each paper as it comes in: File, Scan or Shred. As soon as you build the habit to handle each paper this way, you’ll be successful with much less effort. You won’t walk into your work space with frustration looking for a file. Instead, you will confidently grab the file you need and move on. You’ll enjoy the satisfaction with knowing you are in control of your workspace and are reaping the benefits because of it.Are you interested in learning more about how you can efficiently scan and store your documents electronically using Scan123? We offer an affordable electronic document solution that saves you money by allowing you to take back your valuable time and space you use to file your documents in paper. Contact us today for a free 20-minute demo to show you how Scan123 can change how you handle paper.