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Do you constantly lose track of your tasks because you feel overwhelmed, confused, and unfocused? When you sit down at your desk, do you spend just as much time trying to organize last minute as you do trying to work on the actual tasks for the day? If these questions hit home with you, why don’t you take a moment to work your way through this 5 step guide on how to organize your desk for better productivity. Not only will you increase your productivity and success, you’ll also gain a new appreciation when it comes to your daily workload, which will allow you to find that enjoyment in your career once again.
CNN said it best, your desk is your area of control in any work environment. It’s your command center, the nucleus that drives the productivity and all your tasks day in and day out. Everything you work with comes and goes from your work area, so it’s only natural that a system is put in place to ensure that you’re being as efficient as possible. While in writing that task might seem simple, but in reality, the constant changes we go through in our workspace can sometimes pile up and not be as efficient as we dream it could be. Which is why we’re not only going to give you the steps to implement your own productivity system, but we’re also going to tell you some red flags to look out for so you can avoid the chaos of a messy desk!
Surefire Signs Your Desk Isn’t Organized
- Growth: Do you feel as though you’ve outgrown your workspace? Are you constantly looking for more surface area to lay out needed documents and projects you’re working on? If you feel like this fits your current situation, don’t worry, it’s not your fault. At some point in everyone’s career it’s only natural to outgrow a space you’ve been working in and there are two ways you can solve this issue before the productivity plummets. You can step up and ask your boss for a change in workspace, making sure they see that your work requires more to be able to excel in the area of productivity. Or you can go through older work that seems to be floating around and place those past projects in storage to make more room for your current work!
- Lack Of Passion: Lack of organization can cause a number of issues to arise in your workplace, not only will work be put to the side and stress will take over, but according to Forbes, a lack of passion will always be one of the first noticeable signs that your work area isn’t as ideal as you need it to be. Sometimes you need to step back and start fresh so you can feel that drive and energy back in your step.
5 Ways To Take Back Control
Individuals who have a pressure inducing work day tend to throw around the excuse that they don’t have the time to organize their desk. What if we told you that you don’t even need to dedicate a day in your schedule to make a positive change for your career and your productivity? By making 5 simple changes each day, you’ll end up jumping out of bed at the thought of work, excited and full of energy right from the start, instead of the draining feeling of dread and overwhelming stressful thoughts! Organizing your workspace can be done a little bit at a time, not only is this more realistic, but according to Life Hack, it will make the change actually last and stay in place.
- Keep The Essentials: Items that are personal, decorative, or even work related materials that you never touch, should be packed up and brought home for storage or disposed/donated. Anything and everything can cause distractions, cleaning your desk space so only your daily essentials are always on your desk will keep space open for documents passing through and other work that needs to be dealt with throughout your day. Take one area at a time and soon enough you’ll have everything you need and no distractions to keep you from being productive! (Don’t forget to dust when you clear off your work surface!). Investing in a standing desk converter can help eliminate unwanted items. Having a converter allows you to be the very minimal and gives you other health benefits. If you want more information, read this article on converters.
- Be Design Conscious: Being aware of the overall aesthetic layout of your work area will allow you to spice up your space with minimal distractions. According to Zapier, adding a simple plant to your work environment will boost productivity by 15%. Making sure there is a source of natural light will improve your mood, focus, and sleep patterns. By making sure your computer monitor is 20 to 40 degrees from your eyes and away from sun glare, you’ll experience fewer headaches and distractions from your peripheral vision. These subtle details all come together to create an environment that will encourage you to succeed.
- Get Digital: The time is now to make this change! Slowly transition your work into a digital space. Of course, keep physical copies of important documents, but any references or contacts can easily be managed on your work computer, which will allow you to utilize your work area much more efficiently with even less distractions and chaos. Scan, draft, and organize into appropriate folders with correct labels so you can find everything quickly and easily, then all you need to do is store physical documents at home or in a compact filing cabinet away from your everyday work space.
- Get Close: By keeping your essentials close to you, you’ll find that you’ll be coming up with excuses to go to the break room or other areas of the office less and less. The key is finding a balance between what should be at your desk and what will equal clutter and distraction. It might take time to understand what works best for you, but a great rule of thumb is to make sure you have a reusable water bottle nearby so you don’t have to get up to go to the water cooler every thirty minutes, keep a sweater or shawl on the back of your desk chair, not only for added comfort, but according to Reader’s Digest, you can become very irritable when you feel too cold, which will negatively affect your work performance. Experiment over time with what items benefit your productivity the most!
- Make Time: Washington Post constantly reiterates the concept of making time for the things you want in your life. No one can make time but you. If you have to make a choice between staying after work for an extra hour or going home to watch the big game, what should you choose if you ultimately want a more productive work space? Think about the long term, if you take that extra hour to organize your space, you’ll be able to finish work on time and you’ll actually be able to watch the game without a cloud of stress hanging over you!
A general consensus among productive individuals who have conducted studies and dedicated their lives to making sure we’re all as productive as possible, seem to agree that these 5 steps are the foundation you need to get you pointed in the right direction. Your mission of efficient productivity will take time, but by getting started you’ll see just how simple it can be to make sure your space is as ergonomic as it possibly can be.
Sources and References:
- Here’s how your desk should be organized – cnn.com
- How to set up a perfectly productive cubicle, according to science – rd.com
- How to organize your desk to do your best work – washingtonpost.com
- 21 tips to organize your office and get more done – lifehack.org
- 5 signs your organization has outgrown you – forbes.com