Now that you have effectively sorted the contents of your office, you are ready to Set in Order. This step in the 5S Organizing aspect of Lean Daily Management is about being extremely intentional about what goes back into the emptied space.
One goal in removing items from the space during the “Sort” phase of 5S is to force you to really think about what gets to go back in. Asking questions about the items helps to make these decisions. Here are some good questions to ask yourself as you review:
- What is this item for? How often do I perform that duty?
- Why is it here? Is this the best place for it?
- When was the last time it was used?
- If broken or requiring maintenance, is it worth having it repaired?
- How many do I really need?
Embrace the Organized Mind with Neat and Tidy
As you bring items back into the office, you should question whether they have been living in a location that really serves you. For example, a printer located on the other side of the room might be moved within reach if you are constantly getting up to retrieve paper. The only files stored in the room should be those that you access often, and these should be at your fingertips.
Place reference files in a drawer and consider placing action files in a desktop filing container. Paper requiring an action should always be kept separate to reference paper.
Question the use of cork boards, pencil holders, business card holders, extra furniture, inboxes and tchotchkes. Coming into a clean and tidy desk area every day is very inspirational and supports productivity, so question whether that keepsake is contributing more to your everyday inspiration than it would if it was not there.
How to Deal With a Lot of “Back-and-Forth” From Home
If you constantly have items going to and coming from home, consider making a “home” area near the door to remind you to take these items daily instead of leaving them at the office. You could create a small cubby or shelf area, but a simple banker’s box will do as well.
The goal here is to only return items to the office that will aid productivity, contribute to focused work time and reflect well on who you are as a professional. This applies to anyone – from a workstation on a factory shop floor to the highest level corporate suite.