Being Organized Can Save Your Business Money

The Wall Street Journal published a study indicating that the average U.S. executive loses six weeks per year, or one hour per day, retrieving information from messy desks and files. This statistic can apply to any disorganized person. In today’s highly competitive environment, those who learn how to organize their time, files and filing systems, tasks, space, and eliminate clutter, will be far ahead of their competition.
It can cost a company more than 12% of each disorganized employees salary every year.  This does not even include direct costs (e.g., repurchasing supplies that cannot be found or were forgotten, excessive overnight delivery and late-payment fees) and indirect costs (e.g., inability to expand the business, general workload or individual tasks due to a perceived "full plate," poor decision-making due to missing critical information in files. Also, not included are lost revenue opportunities. For example, when the piece of paper with the red-hot prospect’s information cannot be found, or customers turn to your more organized competitors due to poor or no response, how can the effect on the bottom line possibly be calculated?
A common trait of a successful executive is knowing how to organize. As efficient time managers, they make the most of every day and complete their most important tasks. Below are a few ways to be more organized, save time and money.
1. Clean off your desk.

Do not keep anything on your desk that you do not use on a daily basis. Things that should be removed include personal mementos, award certificates, photos of family and friends, and your favorite snow globe. These things only serve to clutter your workspace and will better serve you if they are hung on walls or placed on shelves. This way, you can still view them, but they will not interfere with your everyday tasks.

2. File your emails.

If you are one of the millions of employees using Microsoft Outlook, you should learn to take advantage of the program’s electronic filing system for emails. In the left-hand column of the screen, you can right click on "Inbox" and select "New Folder." By creating new folders and labeling them appropriately, you can file away your emails so that they are easier to find. Whether you label the folders by sender or by project, you will find that this saves you tons of time when it comes to locating an email and replying to or forwarding messages. It will also clean up your inbox so that you feel less overwhelmed.

3. File your electronic documents.

Many people make a habit out of saving everything they work on in their "My Documents" folder. This can create a big problem when you attempt locate something. Instead of saving all of your electronic documents in a bulk folder and wasting time scrolling through all of them to find what you need, create folders on your desktop that are specific to each project and save your documents in the correct folders. You may also want to begin using project-specific names when you save and name your documents. This will make locating items even easier.

4. Use a planner.

Recording your daily events, lunch plans, business meetings in a planner or on your smartphone will cut down on the number of sticky notes cluttering up the sides of your computer and your workspace. It will also help you prioritize your tasks for the day, which will keep your overall schedule and life more organized.

5. Designate fifteen minutes a day.

It’s very important that you set aside time during the day to file, clean up after yourself, clean your keyboard, dust, or throw away any lingering soda cans from yesterday’s lunch. By designating time, you will ensure that your office stays organized and that you maintain a level of cleanliness that is essential to the reduction of your stress level.
Every business can run more efficiently and cost-effectively to improve its bottom-line results. Access to important, current information by instant retrieval of documents from filing systems and effective time management skills are vital. Employing proper business organizing skills gives your company a critical competitive advantage.