Working from home can be a difficult challenge on its own, finding the time between getting the balance right and completing the items that need doing for your career.
What can make your life easier is having the right organization tools that will allow you to make the most out of the time spent working, so you are not looking for an important piece of paper or an email that you need to answer.
Getting the office organization to a point where it flows without you having to think too much about it is a dream, one that many people would love to realise. But without the knowledge of organizing, they tend to flap around in the water and are unable to find the solution that could mean the difference between being organized and having a chaotic work-to-life balance.
The ideas are not just for the home office, they could be easily implemented in a number of different situations; it is the knowledge of how to use them to your best advantage and sticking to the principles, which will keep your system working smoothly.
Emails how to tackle them
Emails can take over your life; they can become the most difficult item in any office to tame. Knowing just how to deal with them will ease the time that you need to spend daily sorting out your inbox. Setting up the process may take time; it will depend on the current size of your inbox as to how long this task is going to take.
The best option, if you have a large inbox, is to break this down into smaller chunks, but with the same principle of not letting the new mail become clutter.
Check your email box several times a day. You need to action each email that comes in:- if it is junk it needs deleting; if you want to read it, then quickly scan through the mail; if you think you need more time, then place this item in a reading file.
You need to determine if you need to keep an item or delete. If I have actionable emails, I do the required action and then file the mail. I never turn off emails without making sure that I am fully aware of the reason why an item is sitting in my inbox. There are never more than 10 emails left at the end of the day, and for all of these I know the reason as to why they haven’t as yet been filed.
If you have items coming into your inbox that you just don’t have the time to read, it could be time to un-subscribe to that service. It will reduce the time needed to sort through and delete.
Creating files in the email system
Having too many folders will not make your job any easier; too few and you will find that you just don’t have the right file to store the email correctly. You need to find the balance for you. If your download your emails to your computer for use with, for instance, Outlook, you have the option to create folders for different people / companies – the choice is yours. Then, after setting up a “rule”, all emails which you receive for any of those folders will automatically go into that folder. You will be aware of its receipt, because the folder name appears in bold print and the number of unread emails for that folder heading appears next to the name. Therefore you do not need to scroll through all your emails for particular ones, those in the inbox can then be dealt with more easily. Also, Outlook allows you to mark up emails with a choice of 6 colours.
You might also need to make the decision as to the need to keep some emails and the length of time. This will depend on personal circumstances; I go through my reading file a few times a week, once I have read the item I then make the decision as to the fate of the email. This allows my folders to not become bogged down with information that just isn’t required and keeping the information that is needed, for future reference.
It can take time and patience to get to the point where your emails are controlled; it becomes easier to manage and is one less stressful situation where you could be looking for an important email that gets lost in amongst your inbox.