Five common organisation mistakes you should avoid

The first step to running a productive business is having an organised business. If you’re a freelancer or manage a small or medium sized business, it’s especially important to be systematic in order to work effectively.

The most overwhelming part of bringing discipline to your venture is confusion about where to begin. You know you want to clear the clutter that has accumulated on your desk for the past two months, but you just can’t figure out how. The trick to becoming organised is identifying the habits that need to be changed and habits that are worth keeping. Here are some common mistakes to watch out for when finding an organisation system that works for you:

  1. Overusing temporary reminders: Stop overusing Post-its, erasable whiteboard messages, and notes that disappear the second you take your eyes off them. If your desk is scattered with a layer of scribbled notepad pages and highlighted sticky-note reminders, do yourself a favour and avoid them altogether. Wasting time looking for multiple reminders and to-do lists is counterproductive.
  2. Relying too much on technology: Don’t rely on your computer alone. Computers sometimes get viruses, crash and unfortunately, files can be lost forever. Use an external hard drive to back up your important files and save yourself the tears from losing all your work.
  3. Hiding things: Although this seems like an obvious mistake, we are probably all guilty of stashing away the change we got from shops, an excessive amount of pens, and receipts we might need one day in drawers throughout our home. Hiding things creates an illusion of cleanliness and organisation, but it will eventually cause you unnecessary stress when you can’t find items you need.
  4. Mistreating your desk: Treat your desk the way you’d like to be treated. Don’t pile things on it that clearly don’t belong there. These items will create clutter and serve as a distraction when you sit down to do work. If you work at a desk in your home, don’t eat or leave food on it, and don’t get distracted by watching a film or playing video games. These extracurricular activities will turn into habits that will interrupt your motivation to work.
  5. Unrealistic expectations: The key to creating an organised workspace is to transition slowly. Old habits are hard to change, and a common mistake is assuming we can make a complete transformation from our old ways overnight. Sure, clean and organise your desk for a fresh start, but don’t stress yourself out because your organisation skills aren’t perfect. Finding an organisation system that works for you will happen over time as long as you are willing to make the necessary changes.

Ultimately, being organised will play out in your favour. If you work in an office, be sure to practice leaving it clean at the end of the day. Not only will you be clearing your desk, but you’ll also be clearing your mind. That said, returning to work each morning will feel like a fresh start. And remember—it can be fun figuring out what organisation tools you like and don’t like! Do you like things colour coded? Are playful stickers your thing? Maybe whiteboards and corkboards make your life simplest? Do what inspires you to stay organised and what motivates you to stay focused.

 A ScanSnap scanner is a great tool to help organise your business. If you buy one now, you’ll also have the chance of winning up to £35,000 in our ScanSnap Enterprise Innovation Campaign.

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