With a well-organized office and an uncluttered workspace, you can help yourself become a more productive agent.
Whether you work from home or head out to the office everyday, getting your work done — and enjoying yourself in the process — has a lot to do with having a neat and organized workspace. While you may not even recognize it, a messy office and a cluttered desk can sap your energy and make it more difficult to do your work well.
If you’re worried that disorganization is ruling your life and potentially having an adverse effect on your business, it’s time to overhaul your office. Plus, there’s no better time to do it than the spring. To get started, work through these six steps to create the office space you deserve — and never lose that promising lead in a mess of paperwork again.
Start by Cleaning...
1. Excess Paper
Go through your client papers and files to decide which to keep and which to discard. Organize and label the active files in a nearby file cabinet. To eliminate even more paper clutter, you can digitize any important documents that you haven’t referenced in a while but want to retain for now (such as business cards for future contacts). Another option is to archive papers in a box and store them away from your main workspace.
2. Digital Desktop Space
Just as your physical desk gets overrun with papers, so can your computer with digital files. Toss any outdated or duplicate files, and group the documents you want to keep into folders labeled by year, client name, or topic. You can further clean up your computer by removing any apps or bookmarks you no longer use.
3. Email Inbox
As an insurance agent, you’re bombarded with so many emails on a daily basis that it’s hard to keep up. While these messages are important, they can easily distract from more important tasks. To take control of your inbox, quickly scan each email and choose which ones deserve your immediate attention, which require your attention at a later date, which can be delegated to a staff member, and which should be moved to the trash.
Then Start Organizing...
4. Your Office Layout
Organize your workspace so that all your client files are within arm’s reach, either in a nearby filing cabinet or desktop tray. If a client calls and you need to grab their information for reference, you won’t have to go on a hunt around your office. Place office and tech supplies you regularly use in a desk drawer and re-stock so that you’re never without them when you need them most.
5. Your Files
It’s an inevitable fact of working as an insurance agent that you’ll accumulate stacks of client files. That doesn’t mean that they have to clutter up your workspace, however.
Instead, organize documents in order of priority or deadline. For example, place any relevant material for tasks that require immediate action — like reminding a client of an impending policy renewal — and place those in a plastic folder marked “urgent.” Have another folder titled “WOR” (waiting on response), “claims to file,” and so forth, depending upon the urgency of the project.
To free up desk space, slip those papers in vertical file holders attached to a wall. Clearly labeling your files like this ensures that a promising lead or time-sensitive assignment never falls through the cracks again.
6. Keep It Up!
Although spring is a great time to reinvent your workspace, you don’t have to wait till the weather warms to clean up. Set aside time at the end of each day or week to re-file papers and folders and straighten up your desk. Use your rare downtime to maintain a clean and organized workspace.
A yearly spring cleaning doesn’t just spruce up your workspace; it can boost your productivity, as well. By keeping clutter under control, you’ll be planting the seeds for revenue growth. Regularly review your office work area for ways to make it more conducive to a stress-free, dynamic workday, and you’ll be well on your way to having an office that helps — rather than hinders — your business.