Whether or not you work from your office, chances are you spend a fair share of your waking hours in command of your screen. For this reason, it’s important to be just as efficient in the organization of your work area as you would be in the operation of your business. If you really want to optimize your workspace, there are a few key ideas to keep in mind:
– The appearance and cleanliness of your workspace speaks measures about who you are and how you operate.
– A well-organized and attractive workspace will feel more welcoming, help you relax, and ease your mind into a state of clarity and productivity.
– The very act of maintaining a clean workspace will set up your mind and body for creating even further positive results each day.
By creating a workspace that is welcoming, comforting, and easy to navigate, we can set ourselves up for greater success automatically.
How to Optimize Your Workspace
Keep It Minimal
By displaying only the bare essentials, you’ll create an environment that’s much more becoming to a mindset of productivity. A busy, cluttered desk or office area is going to create a busy, cluttered mind; and it works both ways.
What are your essential items that you need within arm’s reach? For me, it’s my computer, printer, and writing utensils. For some, it will be much more, for others, perhaps less, but if it’s not something you find yourself grabbing for multiple times a day, put it away.
Visually, there will be less peripheral stimuli in your environment which will help keep you calm and focused. Also, creating and maintaining a minimal workspace atmosphere will force you to direct your not-on-display items to a particular location when they’re not in use.
Having a designated spot for all your office goodies is essential; otherwise they end up on top, thrown to the side, and you recreate the same dilemma you started with. At first blush your desk might feel more barren than the Sahara, but rest assured, you’ll work more efficiently than you ever imagined.
Clear the Clutter
If it’s been a while since you’ve cleaned your workspace from the bottom-up, I would suggest starting back at baseline. This means dumping everything from every long-forgotten nook and cranny until you’re left with nothing to look at except the bottom of your drawer (trust me, it’s there).
This will allow you to sift through what you don’t need and keep only what’s important. Once you’re left with the essentials, you can create a designated location for each item. There are several types of drawer organizers, filing systems, and do-it-yourself solutions for keeping things in their place.
Starting from scratch is crucial to create an organized office space, but the real key in clearing the clutter is by never accumulating it to begin with.
You see, sitting down at a fresh, organized workspace will surely promote more productivity. But what we’re really doing is establishing a mindset of productivity by taking the actions necessary to keep it that way.
Clean Up Your Digital Space
Keeping a clean and organized digital workspace is just as important as keeping a clean and organized material office.
When is the last time you cleared out files, folders, or documents that are outdated or rarely used? How about your E-mail? Do you actually have a strict system of organization for your electronic essentials?
For most of us, our computer is the hub of our workspace, and for this reason alone it can become cluttered in a hurry. What’s more, the mess we create here is tucked away inside a sleek, smooth-edged container rather than put on display as a constant reminder of our negligence to neatness.
Cleaning up your digital space means to delete items you know you don’t need and create an organized filing system for everything you do. It means to do the same for documents, media, and even your browser bookmarks.
You’ll never again have to spend ten minutes searching for the file you were just viewing yesterday because now it will have an assigned location no different than the stapler in your desk drawer.
Create a Clean Slate
Each day is a clean slate for creating or accomplishing something great. This same mentality should follow suit when it comes to your workspace.
By walking into a clean work area or home office each day, not having to sift through stacks of papers or clear a space to write on, you’ll feel much more equipped to take on the day ahead.
Creating a clean slate means that each day you leave your workspace, you clean it back to baseline, ready for tomorrow’s tasks. Do you already know what you’ll need to do tomorrow when you start? Great. Take a few seconds to prepare for the task(s) and save that much more mental processing power when you return.
The good news is that you’ll be taking the extra few seconds throughout the course of the day to put things back in their place, so this won’t be a big ask at all.
It’s often the small, seemingly unimportant decisions we make each day that add up to produce the greatest results.
For most of us, we take a seat at our desk, not paying any mind to the fact that the very environment we’ve created for ourselves directly influences the course of our day.
You now have a new understanding, and therefore a new responsibility to yourself, to create and maintain a productive workspace of your own. You’ll be glad you did.
A successful mind creates an environment of productivity, and an environment of productivity creates a successful mind.