No matter where your office happens to be – in your vehicle, in a hotel room or in your home – it is important to stay organized. But it can be difficult to maintain some sense of order and organization when you are working out of a briefcase! Do you have a strategy to keep yourself organized no matter where you are working? If your current system involves stuffing your briefcase full of expense receipts, phone messages, meeting notes, business cards and research materials, you would greatly benefit from a slightly different approach. Here are four tips for staying organized, even when you are out of the office
1. Create a Mobile System The stuffed briefcase method can be a disaster when you return to the office. That pile of paper is just waiting to eat up even more of your valuable time! Create files that mirror the permanent files in your office, and store them in your briefcase, a small file box or a file pocket. At the end of each day take a few moments to review and file all the materials you have received. Categorize the information in a way that makes sense to you, discard what is not needed, and make notes while the ideas are fresh in your mind. Once you get back to the office, transfer the papers from the mobile file to the permanent file and you’re done!
2. Write Everything Down! It may be old-fashioned, but a pad of paper and a pen works very well. Every time you think of something that needs to get done, write it down! If you let all of those to-do’s pile up in your head, you won’t be able to concentrate on the matter at hand. Set aside time each day to prioritize the list and enter ?action? reminders on your calendar.
3. Keep All Receipts in the Same Spot Use separate credit cards for business and personal purchases, and keep all of your receipts in one place. List your expenses as you go noting items purchased, the date, and the amount. If you have a smart phone with a camera, take a picture of the receipt and email it to yourself as a back-up. This is much easier than relying on your memory.
4. Check Email Two or Three Time a Day This can be a very big time saver for some people. Checking email constantly can distract you from what you should really be doing! Checking email in the morning, after lunch and again at the end of the day allows you to spend more time concentrating on other things, thus being more productive.
Using these tips to stay organized on the road will allow you to minimize stress and maximize productivity.
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