Some find it difficult to simplify their virtual office. Many try to keep it to a minimum but find themselves in the same situation a few months later. It can quickly get out of control – office clutter.
Categorize and File
One of my favorite office tips I learned years ago was “Deal with your mail once and you won’t have to deal with it twice.” When you open your mail, place your bills in a folder ready to be paid as they come due. Throw away your junk mail and file your receipts.
Choose how you want to categorize your files. If your business deals with client files, you might want to consider an A to Z file system. This makes it easy to place your hands on a client file when needed. However, if your file system is more geared towards tax season, you might want to categorize using labels like utilities, bank statements, office supplies, insurance, rent receipts, medical expenses, etc.
Use File Sharing Programs
Cloud storage services make it simple to share and collaborate on files. Google Drive, Dropbox, SugarSync, and the new Cubby allow for a more simplified virtual office. How so? There is no need to use couriers to deliver papers to another office. Drop your scanned files into your cloud storage service, and they can be quickly viewed by those working on the project with you.
Calendars Keep It Simple
Take the time, when you’ve been assigned a task or have set an appointment, to place it on your calendar. One of the more organized real estate agents I know makes adding each task to his calendar a priority. What is the result? You’ve guessed it; he doesn’t flake on clients. When he has an appointment, he keeps it.
How does this simplify things for you? Think about how scattered you are when you realize that you’ve forgotten about an appointment. You quickly try to put together the papers you will need, put on professional attire if you are home and have forgotten, and rush to the office to meet them. With a calendar that reminds you when an important date is coming up, you have simplified your virtual office.
Simplify and Organize Your Desk
It would be hard to write a “Simplify Your Virtual Office” blog without mentioning your desk. It’s the most obvious place, and yet the one most easily overlooked. Only keep what’s necessary on your desk – phone and computer. Put your books in a book shelf, there is no need for a display all of your books on your desk, as they will only get in the way.
While we all love having pictures of loved ones close by, too many pictures on your desk leads to distraction. Therefore, keep your pictures down to two or three.
If you must have files close at hand, purchase a simple step file holder. It’s best to only keep the files that you need regularly.
Tips to simplify your virtual office would be incomplete without this tip. With the right people on your team, delegation becomes effortless and sensible. Repeat to yourself three times, “You can’t do everything yourself.” Many, if not most, business owners have tried, but few have succeeded in juggling every aspect of their business. The good news is that while you can’t do everything yourself, you can delegate tasks and responsibilities to competent team members.
When it’s too much for you, or when you realize that you’re headed in that direction, contact JG Assistance. We can work with you to simplify your virtual office, and we would love to help.