"This has got to go" Elaine said to me as we stood in her office looking at the piles of papers stacked on and around her desk.
She could not spare a large chuck of time out of her work day, plus she had a budget to keep within. Knowing what we had to work with, the plan was to break her office organizing project into short and small tasks. Slowly working our way toward how "Elaine" envisions her office to be.
Our first task is the desk top. Magazines, articles, receipts, notes, messages and bills covered both desktops and needed to be conquered. Elaine worked along side me. As I sorted out the papers into piles, she would grab one of the sorted stacks and see if she needed any of those papers. This method speeds up the organizing process.
Once the desks were cleared, they got a good wipe down and we began placing items back on the desks. Elaine was not able to sort through all the paper stacked in the short 3 hours I was there, though she now had 6 stacks of papers to take with her to sort through at her convenience. Each stack should take 20-30 minutes for her to go through.
- If the papers or items are used within the week, they can be placed on top of the desk (in an appropriate vertical filing system).
- If the things are used monthly, they can be place in the desk drawers.
- Anything not touched within a month, should be in a file cabinet.
There may be an exception to these, though they pretty much will hold true.
Amazed at how quickly her desktop was found, Elaine is now motivated to continue the conquest of her office.
What are you looking to declare victory from?