By Barbara Hemphill, Special to Tire Business
RALEIGH, N.C. (Aug. 12, 2016) — It's a simple fact: Clutter is postponed decisions.
Many entrepreneurs and managers have cluttered offices — unless they have an organized assistant. If you don't believe it, just start looking around you. Begin in your own organization, and then look in places like the manager's office of your local retail store.
Entrepreneurs and managers think “big picture,” but following through on details can be a struggle. They like to start things, but finishing them can be a challenge.
Often the more brilliant a person is, the messier his or her office. Sorting and filing seems like a lower priority than creating a new product or serving your customer. But is it? It's easy for observers to wonder: “If someone can't manage their own office, how can they manage a department or a company?”
According to a 2010 study by Brother International Corp., an office products company, the cost of messy desks and time spent looking for misplaced items in corporate America is about $177 billion annually. That price tag, figuring the time spent daily hunting for misplaced files, staples or documents, added up to 76 hours — or nearly two work weeks—a year.
According to the same study, it is also taking a toll on pocketbooks, since nearly one-third of those surveyed failed to get reimbursed for a business or travel expense because they misplaced or lost a receipt.
What is the problem?
Getting and staying organized is not easy — if it were, there wouldn't be so many highly successful, intelligent, creative people who struggle with it. Unfortunately, organization skills are not taught in school, so unless you were born organized or had a good role model for organization when you were growing up or in a job situation, you're out of luck.
The combination of computers — and a desire to reduce overhead expenses — means fewer administrative assistants, and as a result, messier offices.
Solving the problem
There are numerous ways an office can be organized, but statistically, most offices simply have too much stuff. Look at each item in your office and ask the question: “Does this help me accomplish my work or enjoy my life?”
If the answer is “No,” but you're still reluctant to get rid of something, ask yourself, “What's the worst possible thing that would happen if I didn't have this?”
If you can live with your answer, “donate, recycle or toss it” — and work happily ever after.
If organizing doesn't come naturally to you, it's unlikely that, with even the best system, you will have a continuously neat desk. But cleaning it off at the end of the day, or at the very least, the end of the week, will be a cinch if you simply have a SYSTEM (Saving You Space Time Energy Money).
Designing your SYSTEM: The Magic 6
Half of any job is using the right tool. Here are six tools you can use to eliminate the clutter in your office, accomplish your work and enjoy your life:
1. In/Out/File — Place three containers on your desk within reach of your chair.
- One for the items you have not yet looked at.
- One for items you need to take someplace else — another person's office, the post office, etc.
- One for items you need to file in a location within your own office that you can't reach from your chair.