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Top Tips To Help You Clear Away The Clutter

Aug 11, 2008
Apparently those people who clear their entire desks at least once a day, spend up to 30% less time searching for specific items and documents during the main part of their working hours. So assuming that most office based workers spend 8 hours a day at their desks, the research suggests that an organized person will be able to squeeze around two and a half hours more work out of each day.

Taming office clutter requires daily effort; but the good news is that it only takes a few minutes today to save you many hours of shoveling out tomorrow! Take a look at the tips below:

Use trays to restrain your paperwork, including an "in tray" for everything you need to act on; a "completed tray" for completed paperwork; a "read tray" for articles, lengthy memos or reports; and a "to file tray." You might also create a "meetings tray" and use a different colour folder for each meeting you regularly attend.

Manage your "in tray" twice a day, by sorting paperwork into the other trays, completing it or delegating it. Keep your "to file tray" in control, too, by dealing with it on a daily basis.

Avoid inefficient paper shuffling, by touching each document only once. When this isn't possible, keep P.P.B. in mind: Process it, Put it away or Bin it. (But never procrastinate!)

Keep newspapers and magazines from ganging up on you by immediately clipping items you want to keep and filing them. Rip out long articles you don't have time to read now and put them in your "to read" tray. (Grab material from this folder to read while at lunch, traveling or waiting).

Utilse electronic filing. Where possibile keep items as electronic documents, rather than hard copy. The trays system can be mirrored in your electronic filing. Not only does this make it much easier to find documents, but it also helps control the feeling of overwhelm you can experience from being surrounded by piles of paper!
Other great advantages of electronic filing are:

- Documents can be backed up to prevent the risk of loss of damage.

- It is far easier to share the information, documents, articles and files.

- Documents can be attached to calendar items in your electronic calendar (e.g. Outlook). If you have material for a meeting you can attach these files to the appointment within your calendar - that way you will have all the information you need in one place, and you will not need to waste time searching for it.

- By scheduling blocks of time in your diary for reviewing the items in your "in tray", you can either attach the files to the review appointment, or set a hyperlink to your "in tray" folder within the appointment.

If you would like to be free from clutter but need some assistance to get caught up, or to handle your electronic filing, you could consider appointing a virtual assistant. A virtual assistant would help you implement effective systems to manage your workload, and to keep paper clutter at bay! They can also assist you by managing your emails and mail - sifting out the "junk" and handling requests on your behalf.
About the Author
Trudy Spikesman owns and runs Emperor Virtual Assistant offering a comprehensive range of personal and business support services.
Find out how we can assist you can achieve : clear desk - clear head - clear focus
T: 0844 736 5800
E: enquiry@emperor-va.co.uk
W: http://www.emperor-va.co.uk
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