If you have set up a home office over the past year or so you probably thought that once you had purged all the unnecessary stuff and set up your new space with all that nice new furniture, you could sit back and relax because your organizing project was done. You might be surprised to learn that the third and final part of the organizing process is the most important – maintaining your space. If you have skipped that step therein lies the reason you may find that what was your nicely organized office is already a mess.
One important skill that you need to maintain your organized space is the ability to manage your time. Nearly every client I work with has trouble getting and staying organized because they don’t allow time in their schedule for regular daily maintenance. We all need to plan time in our schedule for maintaining organization in our office. If you struggle with this block off time in your calendar as an appointment with yourself at the end of every workday for tidying and preparing for the next day.
More information will continue to arrive every single day. Email messages come flooding in, the mail continues to arrive, and your children come home with homework, school notices and maybe even a precious piece of artwork. There are text messages on your phone and your ‘To Do’ list continues to grow.
When you set aside your daily organizing time you will need fifteen to thirty minutes every day before you can call your workday complete. Return everything you got out during the day to its home. Resist the urge to leave it all out because you will be working on it again tomorrow. I assure you this will only lead to further chaos.
Provide a spot such as a basket for each child where they can place any paperwork they have brought home and take a few minutes to review anything that needs action. Review your To Do list and your email inbox and decide which are your priority items for the next day that need to be accomplished. Create a shorter list of those items either in your trusty notebook or on an electronic list right in your calendar.
You may decide to reinforce your new organizing efforts by repeating a positive statement to yourself every day such as “I am becoming more organized every day” or “I enjoy putting away paper and keeping my office organized”. Your thoughts will affect your actions and you will be more likely to succeed in the long term.