Last Wednesday an organization expert came to my office to help me clear the clutter.
Since starting my graphic design business in 1993, I’ve created hundreds of printed pieces. In 2007 I moved my office, but kept most of my job files: literally hundreds of folders.
Today 90% of my business is customizing WordPress websites. Websites are big projects that can take months to wrap up; I want my current job files easily accessible, and visible, so as not loose track of what needs to be done.
The problem is, when I walk into my office I’m visually bombarded with a messy work space. It’s no way to start the day so decided it was time to toss what was no longer needed and downsize my office filing system.
Here’s What We Did…
To get a quick sense of accomplishment Wendy Poirier suggested starting in one area that had the least amount of “stuff” to organize.
With each item I picked up, Wendy asked me if it was something that needed to stay out and be visible, or filed away? If it could be filed away, under what category would fall?
I had 5 categories:
- Current Jobs
- Closed Jobs
- Quick ToDo
- Article Ideas
We then made space for categories 2-5 by going through the file drawers containing my old print jobs. I tossed over 95% of my folders and shredded what was confidential.
3 hours later I had:
- made over 500 decisions
- created a new area for my current jobs, and
- filed everything else in the spacious filing cabinet I had cleared out.
Wendy gave me “homework” and suggested making an appointment with myself, just as I would with a client. I’ll concentrate on another small area of my office containing extra computer cables, file folders, and a bookshelf.
She put “my assignment” on post-in notes and stuck them on the three places needing organization:
- a chest of drawers containing my extra computer cables: sort through, then keep or toss
- a magazine rack that holds 10 file folders: file away in drawers so they’re out of sight
- my bookshelf: assemble like with like, and toss what’s no longer needed
Having successfully organized one small area has shown me what’s possible. Thanks for getting me started Wendy! See you next month.