Whether you work from a home based office or a workplace environment, having systems in place is a must in order for you to function more effectively. Below are eight tips to assist you on the path to organisation but this list is by no means exhaustive.

1. Clear Your Desk

It is imperative that your desk remains clear and tidy. If you have piles of paper sitting on your desk and have no way of assessing at a glance what is what, then it is time to give your desk a makeover. The use of files, folders or trays in the office will create some structure and clear up the clutter. Firstly put everything in two piles – work requiring immediate action and work which is due at a later date. If you are feeling overwhelmed, take time out to sort through the paperwork as there is really no time like the present.

2. Keep A Diary

As our personal and professional lives become busier than ever before, it is important for us to maintain a diary in order to keep track of appointments and important deadlines. It is also essential to have a diary which balances home life and work life as sometimes these can easily cross over. It is a personal choice if you opt for a paper style or electronic diary but there are extra benefits to using an electronic diary – in the form of reminders which can flash up on your computer screen.

3. Effective Filing System

Once you have cleared the clutter and given appropriate action, you will need to have an effective filing system in order to store and retrieve information as and when the need arises. Time can be significantly wasted having to sift through documents in order to find one piece of paper. As many people also keep a lot of documentation stored on their computers, it is also essential to have an electronic filing system set up on your computer as well. This is a critical subject and we will touch upon file management in more detail in the future.

4. Maintain A To-Do List

It is easy to become lost in the mountain of paperwork that appears on your desk and email that arrives in your in-box. By creating a running to-do list, you can see at the outset what needs to be done. Fight the need to do the easy tasks first as often getting the most difficult task out of the way will make the day go more smoothly. And make sure you relish in the satisfaction each time you cross something off the list.

5. Effective Work Space

There is no point having a lovely decorated office if it is not effective enough for you to work in. Things like flat screen monitors can save space on the desk but ultimately make sure there is enough room to do your work in a timely fashion.

6. Schedule Your Time

Some people are morning people, others perform better in the afternoon. Know when you work at your most efficient and schedule your time effectively. Create a schedule and follow it. You may choose to sort through your email first thing in the morning or opt to file first, it is up to you. Once you have a daily pattern created, stick to it as best as your workload dictates.

7. Up To Date Equipment

Make sure your electronic equipment is functioning properly and free from bugs and viruses. You do not want to find yourself finishing your article just before the impending deadline when all of a sudden, your pc crashes and is unable to start. Also know what software you require in order to complete the tasks from the outset.

8. Separate Personal Tasks

Personal tasks can be distracting in a workspace environment, therefore it is best to have some time in your schedule to achieve whatever personal tasks you need to perform. Whether it is at 10.30am, lunchtime or 3.30pm – keep all calls and personal tasks until the allotted time so as not to distract you from the tasks at hand.

If you’re overwhelmed, struggling to get things done, or recognise you need some assistance, organise a call with me to discuss your business support needs.

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Founder and Director, Nicole has been working in the remote support, virtual assistant, outsourcing space since 2007. A professional with multiple certifications, and a specialist in virtual support and ecourse implementation, Nicole is passionate about supporting women-owned businesses in growth and development.

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