September will forever be back to school month. No matter how many years it’s been since you fretted over the fashion implications of your pencil case, September brings that new-beginnings-feeling. With summer holidays officially over it is time to strap on your big kid shoes and get back to work! Here’s how to get organized and stay organized at your office.
Do the office space purge
Still have that memo on your desk from June? Or that flyer about a new restaurant near your office that opened last spring? Time to purge! Dedicate time early on this week to clear out your drawers, dust off your computer screen and give that recycling bin or paper shredder a purpose. For many industries the end of Q3 is the beginning of busy season. Meetings, invoices and emails will multiply as colleagues, suppliers and customers return from the summertime slump ready to consume and do business. A desk void of clutter will point you in the direction of productivity.
Create a visually organized space
Now that you’ve cleared your desk, it’s time to restock in a structured way. Set a visual tone for productivity by restocking with purpose. Keep necessary office supplies available but hidden. Consider a well-stocked cupboard or drawer rather than on the surface of your desk.
Another tip is to go for the two-tray system. One tray for new (unprocessed) documents, the other tray for “to-be-filed” documents (processed). Treat inbound paper trails like a busy inbox. Create a ritual for processing paperwork at the top or bottom of each hour. Increase or decrease frequency based on volume and need, but the core principle is to stay focused on the task at hand and only look at inbound documents when you have the capacity to apply the “touch only once” principle.
Order food online in advance for meetings
The weekly, monthly and quarterly meetings that are set in stone are prime for pre-planning. Book the necessary conference rooms on a recurring basis and order catering online that can be delivered directly to your office. The headcount for regular status meetings and all-hands-on-deck will remain steady. Order enough food to cover the average headcount and adjust your order as needed if the attendee list changes.
Ensure a variety of dietary needs are covered in your order. Vegetarian, vegan, halal and gluten-free sandwich and snack platters should be included even without information about attendee diets. While meat-eaters will be happy with a beautiful avocado baguette, vegetarians and other guests with dietary requirements will go hungry if only turkey and ham sandwiches are available.
Write it down
If writing everything down, digitally or otherwise, is not already a habit then this back-to-school month is the perfect time to start. With the level of information, dates, meetings and tasks that come your way it’s essential to have a written back up of your mind. Don’t fall into the sticky note trap but create a system of documentation that works for you (and your new clean desk). Have your day planner and notebook handy and ensure the notes you jot down become actionable. These notes won’t serve much purpose if they never see the light of day!
Create a ritual
Tea time isn’t the only element of your day that requires ritual. Develop milestones throughout your day that help establish productivity points. It’s like creating a living task list that moves with you from morning to close of business. Start with a pre-performance ritual that speaks to your life. Perhaps it involves writing 1,000 words in a journal as you sip a caffeinated beverage of choice. Or for some it might be a jog or workout routine. Achieve something in the morning that brings you pleasure.
From there, have a ‘first things first’ ritual that gets your day on track in the office and a closing ritual that ensures the day finishes with clear wins. The exact timing of these rituals isn’t the essential part but the ritual itself.
Let OfficeServe help
Getting back into the swing of office life after a few weeks on a Greek island or dazing off in the vineyards of the Rhône valley is tough. Double down that post-holiday daze with an increase in meetings, invoices and tasks and organizing your office life becomes even more critical to success.
OfficeServe is here to do our small part in helping you get autumn-office ready. While you prepare a packed lunch for the kids and send them off to school, we’ll take care of the packed lunch for the adults (yep, that’s you!). Order a selection of sandwich platters, snack sharers, family-style salad bowls and delicious cakes for delivery to your upcoming office meetings.
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