Your art studio may be so organized that finding that tube of cadmium red or your favorite 3B graphite pencil is never a problem. . . but what about your home office?
Maintaining an organized office ultimately saves you time and money. It saves you time by allowing you to quickly find exactly what you are looking for when you need it, and it saves you money when you know exactly what you have in your office and you aren’t purchasing duplicate items.
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How often do you have this conversation with yourself:
“Oh no! Not again! Where IS that file? I have to call a potential collector in 20 minutes and I’ve misplaced the information that I need to make that call! I know it’s here somewhere…”
Is it once a week? Daily? And how much time or money is it costing you?
Now, picture this instead:
Your office is organized. Everything is in its logical place, and it’s easy to maintain. No more rummaging through stacks of paper, files tossed here and there. No more notes written to yourself on tiny bits of paper that are blown around your office by the slightest breeze. And no more time and money lost as a result of lost files and information!
If you want to get your office organized, here’s what I’d suggest:
First, clear out your office completely and clean the windows, walls and floors. Start with a clean slate.
Second, place ONLY the items listed below back into your office. As you’ll see, everything has a place. . . either on your desk, in your desk, in your file cabinet, or in your bookcase. Here’s the list:
1. Office furnishings:
Desk with drawers
Comfortable chair on wheels
Paper shredder with wastebasket attached
Bookcase for books & periodicals pertinent to work
Adequate lighting for entire office and for desk work
1-2 chairs for visitors
Artwork for walls
2. Items to keep on (or in) your desk:
Computer, printer & fax machine
To-Do list – update each evening; use it every day
Large notebook – write down things to do, events to plan, thoughts, ideas, i.e., everything you need to remember for later.
Telephone log book with carbon copies to record all incoming calls
Small note pad to record quick notes regarding prospects & client conversations (to be filed in client or prospect files)
File folders and file folder labels
Letter opener, paper clips, stapler, staple remover & staples
1-2 personal items for desktop
Contract forms, fax forms & receipt book
Business cards of your business contacts
3. Items to keep in your file cabinet:
Buyers’ contact information
Write important things down, every time! You cannot expect to remember everything, every day. Be certain to write in the date for each item.
Make use of your To-Do list each day. Cross off each item as you accomplish it and move any undone items to tomorrow’s To-Do list.
Do not take your large notebook, paperwork or files, out of the office. Try to keep a boundary between work and home.
Create new files in your filing cabinet as you need them, and file papers/notes into them immediately. And of course, order them alphabetically.
Finally, if the air quality in your office is poor, you might add a living philodendron or an air purifier (place it in your bookcase out of the way).
I sincerely hope that this list inspires you to rid your office of any and all items that are unnecessary to your productivity. Enjoy being more organized, and enjoy spending more time in the STUDIO!