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20 Awesome DIY Office Organization Ideas That Boost Efficiency

20 Awesome DIY Office Organization Ideas That Boost Efficiency

De-clutter and get organized to boost your efficiency in your home or at work. These awesome DIY ideas are incredibly cost-efficient as well. Most of the ideas take less time than you think to get yourself organized and into a clutter-free space.

1. Stack Mason Jars

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    Hot glue together five ball mason jars as shown. Once dry tip on their side and use for spacious little cubbies for pens, pencils, staples, and other small items.

    2. Binder Clips To De-Tangle Cords

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      Clip binder clips to the side of a desk to hold USB and other cables. Thread through the metal part to keep cords tangle free.

      3. Jelly Jar Storage

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        Remove the desired shelf and place upside down on work surface. Space the lids two inches from another. Screw, nail, or hot glue the lid in place. Return to shelf and screw in jars.

        4. Peg Board

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          Frame a pegboard and hang above the desk to store items. The peg board can hold small items like scissors and tape.

          5. Re-Use An Old Shutter

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            Use to hold pending or paid bills. Or use the top half as the in-box and the bottom half for out bound bills.

            6. Shoe Box Storage

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              Pin together shoe boxes with clips to store light books and papers. If you prefer to be more decorative, cover the shoe boxes in shelf lining or wrapping paper.

              7. Re-Purpose Magazine Holders

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                Attach  new or used magazine holders to a shelf to hold items. Paint or cover with shelf paper to match the room decor.

                8. Re-Purpose Wall Brackets

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                  Re-purposed wall brackets make lovely magazine, envelope, or paper holders. The fancy look will add a touch of class to your office at home or at work.

                  9. Make A Desk

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                    Turn bookcases and an old door into a beautiful desk with plenty of storage. The low bookcases provide plenty of storage to keep the desk clear of clutter.

                    10. Drawer Dividers

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                      Cereal boxes covered in shelf liner or wrapping paper make for great divided storage in a desk drawer. Use an exacto knife to trim the boxes to suit the drawer.

                      11. Hidden Desk

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                        Two bookcases with hinges make for a lovely way to hide a desk. The desk-top is designed to fold up when the desk is ready to close.

                        12. Hanging Storage Bins

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                          These hanging storage bins are made from re-purposed disinfecting wipes containers. Hang near or above your office work station.

                          13. Re-Purpose An Old Window

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                            An old window can receive new life as a storage space for the office. Hang reminders and use the chalkboard for family reminders. The project can be completed in an afternoon.

                            14. Mail Sorter

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                              Create a mail sorter with canvas. Those who sew will really love this idea. There are four categories to store bills or use as an in and out box.

                              15. Wine Rack Organizer

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                                Re-purpose a wine rack into a beautiful organizer for your desk. Place empty cups into the spots that hold the wine. And use the cabinet above to store extra supplies.

                                16. Office In A Chest

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                                  Give a chest new life as a miniature office to store folders and more. The project is quick and easy. And when complete office files and supplies are beautifully hidden.

                                  17. Muffin Tin Storage

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                                    Convert a muffin tin to store odds and ends in a desk drawer.

                                    18. Convert A Wall

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                                      Create a giant ribbon wall. Staple batting and desired fabric to the wall. Use fabric tacks to attach the ribbon. The converted wall will hold papers and much more.

                                      19. Magnetic Knife Racks

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                                        Hang magnetic knife racks vertically to create added storage. Attach hooks for added space.

                                        20. Hang Kitchen Wire Racks

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                                          Kitchen wire racks may also double in the home office for added storage. These may be purchased almost anywhere. Simply look in the kitchen aisle for the racks.

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                                          The Productivity Paradox: What Is It And How Can We Move Beyond It?

                                          The Productivity Paradox: What Is It And How Can We Move Beyond It?

                                          It’s a depressing adage we’ve all heard time and time again: An increase in technology does not necessarily translate to an increase in productivity.

                                          Put another way by Robert Solow, a Nobel laureate in economics,

                                          “You can see the computer age everywhere but in the productivity statistics.”

                                          In other words, just because our computers are getting faster, that doesn’t mean that that we will have an equivalent leap in productivity. In fact, the opposite may be true!

                                          New York Times writer Matt Richel wrote in an article for the paper back in 2008 that stated, “Statistical and anecdotal evidence mounts that the same technology tools that have led to improvements in productivity can be counterproductive if overused.”

                                          There’s a strange paradox when it comes to productivity. Rather than an exponential curve, our productivity will eventually reach a plateau, even with advances in technology.

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                                          So what does that mean for our personal levels of productivity? And what does this mean for our economy as a whole? Here’s what you should know about the productivity paradox, its causes, and what possible solutions we may have to combat it.

                                          What is the productivity paradox?

                                          There is a discrepancy between the investment in IT growth and the national level of productivity and productive output. The term “productivity paradox” became popularized after being used in the title of a 1993 paper by MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson, a Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and the Director of the MIT Center for Digital Business.

                                          In his paper, Brynjolfsson argued that while there doesn’t seem to be a direct, measurable correlation between improvements in IT and improvements in output, this might be more of a reflection on how productive output is measured and tracked.[1]

                                          He wrote in his conclusion:

                                          “Intangibles such as better responsiveness to customers and increased coordination with suppliers do not always increase the amount or even intrinsic quality of output, but they do help make sure it arrives at the right time, at the right place, with the right attributes for each customer.

                                          Just as managers look beyond “productivity” for some of the benefits of IT, so must researchers be prepared to look beyond conventional productivity measurement techniques.”

                                          How do we measure productivity anyway?

                                          And this brings up a good point. How exactly is productivity measured?

                                          In the case of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, productivity gain is measured as the percentage change in gross domestic product per hour of labor.

                                          But other publications such as US Today, argue that this is not the best way to track productivity, and instead use something called Total Factor Productivity (TFP). According to US Today, TFP “examines revenue per employee after subtracting productivity improvements that result from increases in capital assets, under the assumption that an investment in modern plants, equipment and technology automatically improves productivity.”[2]

                                          In other words, this method weighs productivity changes by how much improvement there is since the last time productivity stats were gathered.

                                          But if we can’t even agree on the best way to track productivity, then how can we know for certain if we’ve entered the productivity paradox?

                                          Possible causes of the productivity paradox

                                          Brynjolfsson argued that there are four probable causes for the paradox:

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                                          • Mis-measurement – The gains are real but our current measures miss them.
                                          • Redistribution – There are private gains, but they come at the expense of other firms and individuals, leaving little net gain.
                                          • Time lags – The gains take a long time to show up.
                                          • Mismanagement – There are no gains because of the unusual difficulties in managing IT or information itself.

                                          There seems to be some evidence to support the mis-measurement theory as shown above. Another promising candidate is the time lag, which is supported by the work of Paul David, an economist at Oxford University.

                                          According to an article in The Economist, his research has shown that productivity growth did not accelerate until 40 years after the introduction of electric power in the early 1880s.[3] This was partly because it took until 1920 for at least half of American industrial machinery to be powered by electricity.”

                                          Therefore, he argues, we won’t see major leaps in productivity until both the US and major global powers have all reached at least a 50% penetration rate for computer use. The US only hit that mark a decade ago, and many other countries are far behind that level of growth.

                                          The paradox and the recession

                                          The productivity paradox has another effect on the recession economy. According to Neil Irwin,[4]

                                          “Sky-high productivity has meant that business output has barely declined, making it less necessary to hire back laid-off workers…businesses are producing only 3 percent fewer goods and services than they were at the end of 2007, yet Americans are working nearly 10 percent fewer hours because of a mix of layoffs and cutbacks in the workweek.”

                                          This means that more and more companies are trying to do less with more, and that means squeezing two or three people’s worth of work from a single employee in some cases.

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                                          According to Irwin, “workers, frightened for their job security, squeezed more productivity out of every hour [in 2010].”

                                          Looking forward

                                          A recent article on Slate puts it all into perspective with one succinct observation:

                                          “Perhaps the Internet is just not as revolutionary as we think it is. Sure, people might derive endless pleasure from it—its tendency to improve people’s quality of life is undeniable. And sure, it might have revolutionized how we find, buy, and sell goods and services. But that still does not necessarily mean it is as transformative of an economy as, say, railroads were.”

                                          Still, Brynjolfsson argues that mismeasurement of productivity can really skew the results of people studying the paradox, perhaps more than any other factor.

                                          “Because you and I stopped buying CDs, the music industry has shrunk, according to revenues and GDP. But we’re not listening to less music. There’s more music consumed than before.

                                          On paper, the way GDP is calculated, the music industry is disappearing, but in reality it’s not disappearing. It is disappearing in revenue. It is not disappearing in terms of what you should care about, which is music.”

                                          Perhaps the paradox isn’t a death sentence for our productivity after all. Only time (and perhaps improved measuring techniques) will tell.

                                          Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                                          Reference

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