It’s time to tidy up your workspace. While there are many tips and tricks to foster a successful workday, a source of productivity you may be overlooking is your desk and office. Your desk is a place that should encourage creativity and support your career goals. Although it may seem like a daunting task, it will be time well spent and have long-term payoffs.
Before you start throwing away unwanted papers or piling books, first envision your ideal workspace. It helps to think about what you hope your workspace to be compared to its current state. This will enable you to then work through specific steps to attain this vision. Make sure your ideal workspace corresponds with your current wants and needs while supporting your ideal future.
In your physical workspace, look around and gather all your paperwork. We often collect paper that seems important to save at the time, but it’s likely that many stacks of paper no longer serve a current purpose. Discard these papers to make room for the documents that are essential for your work priorities. Remember to recycle and be sure to shred any confidential documents! When organizing your remaining documents, there are many office supplies to help you keep your workspace tidy. Folders and binders are great ways to make sure everything is stored in its place. If your office is filled with books and magazines, go through the same process with these items. Consider if certain books are worth keeping or if it would be better to donate them. Instead of stuffing your shelves full of books, give your shelves some space and opportunity to breathe. Lastly, look around at the office supplies, mementos, and remaining things in your office. When deciding which to keep, make sure that each serves a specific purpose and brings value to your life. Try to fill your space with only things that you love. This will help eliminate clutter and unnecessary mess.
The next part of your workspace to tackle is your electronic workspace. You can follow a similar process as with your physical workspace. First, think about what an ideal desktop and inbox looks like for you. While rigid organization isn’t suitable for everyone, it is beneficial to have some order. This helps prevent you from spending extra time trying to find a file or digging through your inbox for an important email. Even though it can be handy to have files on your desktop, make sure that there is still a designated place for them. Folders are essential and can also help you organize your email. Archive or disregard anything inessential, so you can focus your time on current tasks rather than expired priorities.
The last step to tidying your workspace is an ongoing task. Hold yourself accountable for keeping your workspace clean and organized. Try not to let papers or random files pileup. It only takes a few minutes every day to put things in their place. Make sure your workspace helps support your productivity and future goals!