Whether you have a corner office or a miniature cubicle near the mini-fridge, if you have a workspace and a desk, you are familiar with the kind of mess and disarray that can steal hours of your productivity away from you, one lost file and missing computer cable at a time. Being that you spend hours of every day in that workspace, it is worth taking a little time to organize and improve your workspace for maximum productivity and even, dare we say a little homey charm.
These tips can help you impose some order on your desk and office, and can even help motivate you to work better and smarter than ever before.
1. Start by clearing everything off your desk, wiping it down, and placing the most important items (phone, computer, etc.) in the most comfortable positions that make sense for your individual workflow. Spend a lot of time on the phone? Position it so you can dial easily with your dominant hand and so the cord won’t tangle. Tons of typing? Place the keyboard in an ergonomic position and set the monitor at a comfortable distance and angle for your height. (This can have a surprising effect on your afternoon office fatigue!)
2. Even if you would love to go paperless, don’t underestimate the value of placing a single legal notepad near the phone. There are dozens of little things you have to remember every day—from order confirmation numbers to alternate phone numbers—and having it all written in one place will help you go back and find something important. Never allow yourself to scribble down a name or message on a random scrap of paper.
3. Make cleaning easy. Keep a box of disinfectant wipes under your desk and take three minutes at the end of each work day to wipe down your space (especially germy spots like your phone receiver.) Having cleaning supplies on hand will make you much more likely to keep it neat. Put away all straggling papers into an appropriate file by the end of every day—resist the urge to just make a neat stack of unrelated papers and files.
4. Don’t forget motivation—studies show that having a visible goal in front of you can help increase your motivation and therefore your productivity and even your creativity. Pictures of family and friends can cheer up your bare cubicle, but the best motivation of all may be a photo of something amazing you plan to buy for yourself at the end of the quarter. Seeing that tropical vacation flyer or ideal cut diamond photo everyday will help you stay on track and stay motivated!
5. Avoiding clutter is the number one way to keep your workspace neat and organized. Don’t allow useless objects to accumulate in your desk because they might be useful some day. Keep a few of your favorite kind of pen, and one each of every other office supply you use regularly in a single drawer. Clear out stress balls, souvenir mugs, and other useless office paraphernalia, and keep any other non-productive decorative items, like photo frames, on a shelf above your desk or affixed to your wall.
6. Maximum productivity also depends on you being able to work efficiently without succumbing to the office snack machine or wasting time on a grocery store run. Fill one drawer with healthy, energizing snacks like sealed packages of nuts and dried fruit, healthy energy and granola bars, and mini-bags of healthy cereal. If your office allows it, fill a small basket with fresh fruit at the beginning of the week and tap into that instead of the leftover cake in the office fridge. Fill a spill-proof bottle with ice water at the beginning of the day and keep it at your desk.
7. Designate one spot in your office to keep the stuff you bring back and forth from the office to home every day. Your keys, cell phone and other necessities can easily get lost unless you have one place set aside for them. If you often use a company smartphone at work, you can set it on a pad of paper or a mousepad so it can vibrate quietly without disturbing those around you.
8. One of the items most commonly lost in a messy office is, believe it or not, diamond rings. There are lots of occasions at the office that call for removing expensive jewelry from preparing lunch to assembling new computer equipment, and unless you have a prepared jewelry box or jewelry pouch ready, it can be easier than you think for your diamond rings to go missing forever. For safety reasons, avoid decorative boxes that look like they are designed to hold jewelry.
Author Bio: This post is contributed by Dennis Polishchuk, one of our happy users and is a SEO specialist at Whiteflash.com, best provider of loose diamond, diamond engagement rings and other diamond jewelry.