Thursday, October 8, 2009

Pandora’s Office May Have Been Worse than Her Box

Do you know the story of Pandora’s Box? The Greek myth is about a box that was opened and unleashed all the disease and chaos into the World as we know it. Have you ever wondered what her office may have looked like? Here is a list of tips you can follow to avoid being a victim of Pandora’s Office….

1. File. File. File
According to Sara Caputo, OfficeArrow’s Productivity Guru, 80% of what is filed is never looked at again. Find a place for your papers. If possible, “Go Green,” eliminate the paper clutter and file documents electronically. If you are reverting to electronic filing, be sure to have a backup just in case your computer crashes. Make time, at least weekly, to file papers away. Determine if something needs to be shredded, filed, or distributed to someone else. The key is to clear the clutter.

2. Create an effective filing system.
Find out what filing system works for you. I like to use the color coding system. For example, files related to finances can be green (for obvious reasons, right?), so when the file drawer is opened these particular files can be found easily because of the color. Another suggestion is to color code the labels, same example, use green labels for finances. It’s simple and effective.

3. Recycle Papers
Continue with the Go Green Initiative and recycle documents that are no longer necessary. In an effort to eliminate paper, you may want to scan the document, save it as a PDF, and file it in an electronic file. Then decide to shred or recycle the document.

4. Get appropriate storage for filing paper documents.

Can’t see the top of your desk because piles of papers are covering it? Get vertical filing racks that allow you to store documents in an upright position. This makes for easy access of files and you will be able to see file labels more easily (provided you are not using the color code system). Check out office suppliers such as and for storage and filing options.

5. Evaluate your desk space.
Do you have pictures from the family vacation? Or maybe you have knick knacks that take up a lot of space on your desk. If you have to continue to move things out of your way when using your desk, then you probably should remove some of the items. Display them seasonally or take away and display them monthly. Here’s a suggestion, keep the pictures of the family. In the winter months, replace the pictures of the family with the vacation pictures. This will remind you of the nice weather and give you something to look forward to for the next vacation. Eliminating the many pictures, mementos, and knick knacks will keep a professional look, but also maintain a pleasant environment. If your employer allows and you have space, you may ask if pictures can be hung on the walls of your office or cubicle. Remember keep a professional look for visitors and co-workers.

The ability to clear the clutter and make room in your office will increase productivity and show that you are an organized professional who can access information quickly when needed. There isn’t anything worse than being asked by a superior to find a file and you are unable to locate it!

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