By picking up this book, you have made the decision to either be more productive at work or work in a more organized environment. Now the question remains: Where do I start? It’s a question you need to answer as you begin this process. Your definition of working productively or being organized may be entirely different than the next individual’s—and that’s okay.
It doesn’t matter what industry you work in, or what your job title is; all offices can be broken down into four areas that usually require streamlined systems and processes to be created and maintained. While not every office will require work in all four areas, you need to identify at the onset which ones need improvement, so that you’re clear about the goals you want to accomplish. Making statements like “I need to get organized” or “I really wish I knew how to be more productive” will get you nowhere if you do not understand exactly what is standing in your way or which areas need the most help.
These four areas are as follows:
1. Paper: This may include paper management systems, paper flow, and filing and retrieval systems.
2. Electronic Information: Any information stored electronically, such as documents, customer information, photos, and graphics.
3. Stuff: Anything that must live in the office that is not paper.
4. Time Management: The desire and ability to manage your time and prioritize tasks to ensure that you meet deadlines and achieve goals.
Now that you are aware of these areas, you should ...