If your workspace is piled high with books and paperwork, and your walls are covered with cards and children’s drawings, you may be interested in de-cluttering.
And as more companies move to collaborative workspaces – with fewer tall cubicles and numerous light-filled, open desktops – you may have no choice.
Regardless, who doesn’t want to lose 10 pounds … especially in paperwork.
“Being less reliant on paper is liberating” said minimalist Linda Bambacus, vice president of process improvement and implementation at Colonial Life. “You don’t need paper or stuff to access the good ideas of others. You just need space to engage with them.”
Organized and clean workspaces increase productivity and creativity says Time Management Ninja. The environment can also benefit from less paper printed, creating a smaller carbon footprint. But most importantly, your workspace is your home-away-from-home.
“Your desk area is your most productive space” said Dr. Melissa Gratias, productivity psychologist and WorkLife contributor. “Purging paperwork will help you let go of the past and keep yourself nimble for moving forward. It can also help you feel like you’re accomplishing more.”
She recommends three primary items to be kept in your workspace, including functional items you use every day, things that remind you of why you come to work and why you leave work (pictures), and current action items.
Breaking the process into steps will allow you to continue working while you’re reorganizing, rather than feeling like you need to take the week off to get situated. Begin with one drawer or area of your desk and sorting through everything, putting all documents into categorized boxes.
As a rule of thumb, CIO states you probably don’t need duplicates or paperwork you haven’t used in over six months. Many companies have records retention schedules to serve as guidelines on how long to keep documents.
Before tossing all your files, scan valuable documents to store them electronically. Bambacus said “by using an electronic filing system on your personal drive, you’ll never have to lug a bunch of paper while traveling.”