No matter how affectionate you may feel toward your beloved clutter, a clean and tidy workspace generally leads to better productivity. Your workspace is a reflection of your mind, and this is why most people find it easier to focus and get things done when things are tidy.
Organizing your workspace can get complicated, but the simplest way to keep things tidy is to reduce clutter. Clutter is the ultimate enemy of a tidy workspace.
Keep Surfaces Clean
The main trouble area for clutter is surfaces. Your desktop, shelves, filing cabinet tops, and so on, are where clutter is most likely to accumulate. You can create whatever kind of filing system you want, but at the very least make sure that your surfaces stay clean.
Put It Away
As soon as you use something, put it away immediately. After using a pair of scissors, don’t toss them onto your desk where you’re likely to forget about them. Put them back in their rightful place. Get into a habit of doing this and it’ll be second nature.
A great deal of workplace clutter is paper, but in today’s digital office, there’s little need for it. Whenever possible, go paperless. Scan documents and store files digitally. Going paperless not only reduces the clutter paperwork causes but is also good for the environment.
Create a Zone for Important Stuff
Create one particular space for important things that need to be dealt with as soon as possible. This is one part of your workspace where it’s okay to pile things up. Make it something like your inbox and set aside at least a little time each day for going through these important things to-do.
Create a Zone for Current Stuff
You might also want to create a space for files and things related to any current or ongoing projects. For current projects, you may need to access these files often and it’s a drain on your time to keep filing and retrieving them. When the project is done, file this stuff with your regular files.
Identify Trouble Spots
In every workspace, there are certain areas where things tend to pile up. This could be an area that’s used by many people or an area that’s simply a convenient place to put things. Identify this spot and pay especially close attention to it, making sure that things don’t pile up there. If necessary, create a special tidying plan for handling this area.
Consider Off-Site Storage
If storage causes clutter, consider off-site storage. You don’t need to store everything related to your work at your desk. Choose a storage space in another part of your house or office, or consider storing in another facility.
In today’s high-tech age, every workspace has a tangle of electric cables. While these cables may be behind the computer and out of the way, they can still contribute to a feeling of clutter, not to mention the potential safety hazard. Hide cables as well as possible and look into buying cable holders.
Get Rid of Personal Items
Cut down on personal items at your workspace. It’s all right if you want to leave a few pictures around, but keep it free from personal items as much as possible. If you work at home, try as much as possible to create a workspace with few personal distractions.
Create Tidying Habits
Keeping your workspace tidy takes daily effort, but if you get into regular tidying habits, it won’t feel like it. Set aside a little time for cleaning daily. You can decide on how long to clean and set a timer. Tidy up and do some basic cleaning like dusting or scrubbing surfaces. It’s good to schedule your daily cleaning for the end of the day when you’re shutting things down.
Start from Scratch
If your workspace is cluttered and you really don’t know what to do, remove everything and start from scratch. Take everything out of your workspace and only bring it back when you feel that you need it. If there are items you never feel the need to replace, you didn’t need them.
For example, you might remove small items like scissors, staples, tissues, markers and calendars from your workspace. Once you start working, you may immediately feel that you need your calendar. You might later need your scissors to cut something. However, you may never feel the need for your staples and markers. You now know that these are items that are just cluttering up your workspace.
Finally, other areas of the office or house could also have a detrimental effect on your focus. You may want to keep those areas tidy as well.
You can leave a comment by clicking here.
Till Next Time
Mike Gardner is The Time Doctor