1. Create a filing system with broad categories such as “Insurance” and then break those categories down further into sub-categories (i.e., car, life, medical), alphabetizing them along the way. Devote one file drawer to each category (if possible) and use a different color for each category.
2. Create a file index for you and anyone else needing to access your files. A file index is basically a user-friendly guide to where each file is located. So if you are looking for an insurance claim, the entry in your file index may look like this: (I call it my Bible-do not lose!)
Insurance Claims- Insurance (I-10)
3. To minimize interruptions of your own time and others, schedule a 5-minute meeting somewhere during the day with the people you most often need to speak with. This prevents the frequent knocking at your door you may experience! Let others know when you are available to meet with them, perhaps between 3-4 PM, for example. Ask your boss for 5 minutes of his/her time everyday to go over any questions you may have, eliminating the need for constant interruptions. (Tip-this works great with spouses also! No more, “Honey, can I just ask you to do this one thing?” Or calling him/her at the office to find out when to pick up the kids. Daily meetings are much appreciated by all!)
4. Resist the need to answer your phone every time it rings. Use your voice mail when you are working on something.
5. Prevent phone tag and wasted time on the phone. When returning phone calls, gather all the information you need BEFORE you make the call. See if there is another person who can answer your question, instead of having to wait around for a response.
6. Sort your incoming paper daily and decide what you need to do with each piece of paper. Set up a tickler file to corral these to-dos. A tickler is a 1-31 file with dividers for each day of the month and months of the year. So, if you have a memo with a phone number of someone you need to call back, put that paper in the tickler on a day you can return the call.
7. Use templates and forms anytime you can. So if people come into your office often to borrow something, instead of having them leave a note, keep a stack of “Borrowed Item Forms” for them to fill-in-the-blank and leave for you in a designated location.
Rebekah Slatkin is a professional organizer dedicated to getting people organized through hands-on decluttering sessions, teleconferencing, coaching, and her website http://www.best-organizing-products-superstore.com Visit http://www.best-organizing-products-superstore.com and subscribe to Organewz, her ezine dedicated to organized living and get organizing tips- free