Before you read this entire article, get up from where you’re sitting, take a step back, and look at the space in which you’re working. How does it make you feel? Is it cluttered and crazy, stressing you out? Is it neat and organized? Are there mostly warm or cool color tones? Are there distractions everywhere?
Where you work affects how you work, so optimizing your space also means optimizing your productivity. A space that’s crowded and full of junk and distractions most likely means you’ll be stressed and distracted, whereas a clean, organized space allows you to focus more on tasks at hand. Read on for some tips on how to re-vamp your space to help you be your most productive self.
Step 1. Purge, and purge hard. Odds are, you have a bunch of useless junk in, on, or around your work space. From post it notes from old projects to knick-knacks to that gross old mug that hasn’t been used or washed since 2012 (seriously, why is that there?) – get rid of any junk that isn’t useful to you.
Step 2. Take inventory. What do you still have after throwing away what’s unnecessary? Important documents, perhaps? Maybe some important mementos? Pull out everything that you plan to keep, and get ready to organize.
Step 3. File, file, file. Filing cabinets are your friends, and color-coded folders make filing a cinch. Consider the best way to file important documents – perhaps by project, by year, or by team, and then file away all of those documents to ensure you can quickly and easily find them should you need to.
Step 4. Get organized. Consider buying some desk-top and drawer organizers (like these or these) to help your keep clutter at bay. Make sure that important items have a home (and that they stay there).
Step 5. Make it you. Ultimately, you’re going to spend a lot of time in that space, so make sure you like it! Whether that means putting up a few photos or personal items, make sure it’s a space that ultimately makes you feel happy and at peace. Consider creating harmonies with matching furniture, organizers, etc, using color palettes that you find most appealing and soothing.
Step 6. Create a clean-out reminder. Take (at least) one day a year to go through the above process again, and clean out the junk that you have lying around and ensure that you’re sticking to your organizational guns. Go through documents and see which ones aren’t relevant, and destroy any sensitive information. Go through your desk drawers and clear them of clutter, and lastly, go through your computer and get rid of old files that are hogging up your memory.
By following the simple steps above, you can transform your work space from chaos to a true productivity sanctuary that you enjoy working in. Work is stressful enough, don’t let your space add to it.