Having a disorganized office will bring you down and slow you down. Here are some tips to an organized your office to bring you joy and maximize efficiency.
Get Rid of Clutter
When you are working in the same place, you get used to your surroundings. Pretend you are a client. Walk into your office with an objective eye and what do you notice? Dusty silk flower arrangements? Outdated magazines? Mismatched furniture? A picture askew? Files everywhere?
Or better yet, have a friend come in and give you their impression of your office. Clearing out unnecessary clutter will give you and your surroundings more breathing room.
Also objectively look at what bothers you. A pile of files of a matter you are avoiding or a stack of items that you have to find a home for? Work on those first to get it out of your way so you can focus on more productive and enjoyable tasks.
Use Your Scanner
You have the technology. Make it a habit to scan documents and file on your secure server or cloud server. Eliminate the paper clutter and the need for lots of file cabinets. It will also be easier to retrieve information once it is stored. And since it is already in your system, it is easier to send information to others.
Make Dedicated Work Bins
If you are a solo lawyer or entrepreneur, you not only serve your clients but also do the billing, accounting, supply ordering, etc. Designate certain areas for certain tasks. For example, have an in basket or cubby hole for accounting, one for paying bills, one for invoicing, one for supply ordering, etc. When you receive a bill to be paid, put it in that area and forget about it until you set your task about paying all your bills. It will be easier to sort incoming mail and make you more efficient when attacking those bins.
Clear Your Workspace
Look at your desk. No, really, look at it. What can you eliminate from the top of your desk? While you should have necessary items on hand, like a 3 hole punch, find a place in your desk or bookcase to store it. Ask yourself how many times a day you use a 3 hole punch.
If you make a habit of piling things on your desk waiting for responses, find a nearby file cabinet or even file box near your desk, it will be easy to retrieve without cluttering up your workspace.
Devote Chunks of Time to Organize Your Office
Tackling your whole office can be daunting. Plan to spend the first 30 minutes or last 30 minutes of each day on organizing. You will be feeling better each day and the chore will become less intimidating.
Once you have your office in better shape, maintain it by setting aside 15 minutes at the end of each workday to put things in order, scan, and file documents. This way you will come into work the next day to a happier and peaceful workplace.
Want more tips and advice for your awesome law practice? Check out Law Office on a Laptop, Second Edition: How to Set Up Your Own Successful Law Mobile Law Practice.