Whether you’re a creative or a financial planner, a messy office can distract you from writing, design graphics for site or keep your mind off those important numbers. Creating a workspace that makes you more productive is the goal of this article. Let’s get started.
Manage Desk Clutter
Let’s face it, clutter anywhere you work can be distracting. It’s a bit like a silent mass of stuff that needs your attention, causing a distraction with the need it implies. Clutter also makes it difficult to find a space to work on—whether that’s your desk or your office/cubicle. The mess keeps you from finding papers and more that you need for the company or to run your own business.
Managing the clutter is a great way to start taming your space. Here are some tips to help get you started:
1). Remove everything you don’t need: this is the first step to managing clutter. Start with your desktop, as this is a manageable space that’s often the easiest place to start. Even if you have piles and stacks of papers, reports and books, your desk may be a small area from which to start sorting and throwing, before you get to the larger areas of your workspace.
Consider all the things you have—go through them one at a time. If you come across things you don’t need or don’t use, then sort them as “donate,” “sell,” or “throw away.” This way, you’ll have a place to put everything you no longer need. Rather than creating new piles in another spot, you can sort things into bags or boxes—whichever works best for you. Just be sure to follow-through with the action you’ve decided to take—donate, sell or throw.
After you finish your desk top, then move on to other areas of your office or cubicle. Use the same method to sort unused or unnecessary items into boxes or bags, and then dispose of them as soon as possible.
2). Clean your desk: now that you have more space, it’s time to give your desk a thorough cleaning. Be sure to dust everything off, including your computer, monitor, and other items on your desk. Good old fashioned hot, soapy water can do wonders to clean the desk; however, don’t use soap and water to clean electronics, or you might damage them. Don’t forget to clean out your desk drawers and trays, too.
3). Paper piles: when it comes to paper piles, you’ll have to be more discerning. Before you begin working papers, first decide on the name of each pile. You can sort according to use, age of documents (maybe some need to be archived after a certain date), etc. Sort according to what makes the best sense for your work or home life. Once the piles are sorted, immediately throw out any papers that you don’t need. However, if there is sensitive information on any of the documents, be sure to run them through a shredder first. Then discard in the proper place.
Next, you might think about creating a filing system for some of your documents. This could be paper files to store in a cabinet, or you could even digitise the material and load it into the cloud or onto storage media. You may even choose to digitise some papers, while filing others the old-fashioned way—in a filing cabinet. Again, do what works for you—just be sure to follow through and get everything stored away properly.
4). Keep it close: now you’re ready to start organiser your desk and the space in your room or office. You may have a cubicle—that’s OK, too. The next step is to think about the things you use the most—of course, this will involve your computer. This one’s obvious and probably has a spot on your desk front and centre. Other than your computer, what do you use the most? Pens are common tools, what about your smartphone? Do you frequently use a stapler? Do you have a favourite reference book you reach for almost every day? Consider the tools you use every day, and then think about the best place to put them.
Frequently used tools and resources are best when they’re near your workplace. If you’re in front of your computer most of the day, tools and resources should be within easy reach. Then you won’t have to waste precious time getting up to reach them, or even searching for them.
Another idea is to install wall shelves to hold frequently used items and give them a home near your workspace. They’ll organise and store almost anything—just be sure to keep them looking neat, rather than overly full and cluttered.
5). Dangling wires: we all have wires going everywhere. If you use a computer, smartphone and other gizmos, you’re dealing with a multitude of wires, which can cause clutter problems. Not only that, but dangling wires can also pose a danger to you and others.
One thing to try are cable ties. These are inexpensive and easy to use. Cable ties work wonders for gathering up and holding dangling wires. Once you have all the wires roped up, you might consider hiding them. Electronics shops sell tubes to hide cables that run across the floor, or it might be possible to run wires behind furniture, etc.
6). Decorate your space sparingly: now that everything is nice and neat, you may find your workspace is a little boring! Clutter can present a more chaotic, interesting site; however, a neatly arranged workspace with a little décor may be a better option, making you more productive overall.
Add some character with artwork and knickknacks that inspire you—things you enjoy. However, remember to avoid adding clutter back into your space. Too many decorations and pieces of art can quickly overrun a space.
7). Keep it comfortable: don’t forget to keep the space comfortable for you and the way you prefer to work. Be sure to add a comfortable chair, especially if your old chair is beginning to look a little tattered. Look for chairs that provide good back support. You may also decide on a chair with wheels or one that swivels if these are easier for you to manage.
Lighting is also important. Natural light is the best, but when your office space doesn’t get much light, filling in with lamps can help. Look for lights that offer adequate lighting, but help you to avoid eye strain.
We hope this guide has helped you create a neat and uncluttered workspace where you can thrive and create to your heart’s content. If you’re on the hunt for vibrant, engaging co-working or office space, your search is over!