Doing 5S, I mean 6S, to my Office

I have been invited several times by our human resources department to join this 5S Housekeeping traning session and I have never been interested.

Until, I finally awoke to the fact that my desk looked like hell, and I couldn't find a paper clip amidst all the clutter. I had too many papers lying around, too many teeny weeny thingies jumping around my laptop, which practically took over the center of my desk. Don't get me wrong, my desk isn't small, and my laptop isn't too big. It's just that I have too much stuff ON my desk which I practically don't use every single minute of the day.

So I decided to search the net for this 5S thing, and a twitter friend, @OlinTaha pointed out that it's now 6. And voila, after searching more, it really was 6!

Implementing the 6S Rules.

  1. SORT. After looking around and noticing this 2 big piles of paper, I decided to sort it all out. What to take note of:
    •  Company's retention policy on documents - this will help you decide which ones you need for reference and which ones you can throw away.
    • What I need everyday - the documents/forms I need for my work everyday.
    • Those that need immediate attention - very self explanatory, right?
    • Pending items - reports, forms and others that need attention too or those that were just set aside for the time being because you prioritized.
    • Trash bin/shredder - you need one near you so you can just immediately and painlessly toss your unnecessary clutter into these useful things.
  2. STRAIGHTEN OUT / SET IN ORDER. Once you've sorted out which ones are still needed and you've actually finally thrown away that 2007 budget proposal, you can now start to set order on your office.
    • Set aside a "personal" space for your things like your pens, stapler, planner, binders, telephone, and even your mug.
    • Just like any other space, try to maintain each one, do not let something get out of its "personal" space because once this happens, then it's not gonna be so orderly anymore.
    • Add or put labels on folders, binders, containers, etc. A basic organizing skill, this also helps you identify the contents of a huge binder without creating chaos on your desk.
    • Compartmentalize your bulletin/cork board. If you're like me and you have your own cork board in your office, go ahead and straighten things out. Separate personal notes and tacks from those work related. You can use adhesive tapes or colored pins to separate these compartments for easy reference.
    • Again, be creative! Use colored papers, post-its or even colored adhesive tapes to set those "personal" spaces or labels. The more involved you get, the more importance you'd give to this order you have finally created.
  3. SHINE / SWEEP. Since we're already organizing things and whatnot, why not go a step further and not wait for the cleaning guy? Wipe the surfaces of your desk, the filing cabinet, chairs, side tables, counter tops and even the printer. You can always do this just once in a while, let's say once a week, just to start things going. The cleaner it is, the more at ease you'd feel toward your workspace.
  4. STANDARDIZE. I actually do not have the solid idea on how to implement this to my desk/office, but I think this can be related to being organized. By setting a "standard" on how to handle things, like using neatly cut scratch papers for little notes or phone call inquiries and tiny reminders, you can lessen the chances of losing that important telephone number you scribbled "somewhere" when your superior started yelling. Or, just continue following your company standards or policies. I think that'll help a lot.
  5. SUSTAIN. Don't procrastinate! If you need to yell at yourself and risk looking like a dimwit to anyone who'd accidentally see you talking to yourself, do it! Do not put off doing something if you can finish it today. This also goes with your organizing and cleaning up. If you can put that file neatly into that blue-colored folder, go ahead. Make your day. *lol! so cheesy...*
  6. SAFETY. And because you are already starting to be a neat-freak, you'd notice that you'll take extra steps in cleaning up or straightening out without even realizing that you have just added a safety feature to your everyday things, like making sure that the wires are neatly tuck and are not sticking out to snag someone's foot, or that you have kept that big metal scissors from the hands of a disorganized and stressed workmate, or simply reducing the risk of being smothered with smoking hot brewed coffee by simply clearing out that space away from your telephone.

Isn't that easy?

5S in the Office


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