Kick off the new year right with these tips for quickly organizing your workspace.
- Remove distractions. Ask yourself what actually needs to be on your desk.
- Ditch the knick-knacks (when was the last time you actually used the stress-ball you got free from a trade show 3 years ago?).
- Your colleagues don’t care about your pictures. Chances are you’ve got hundreds of photos on your phone that are way more current than anything sitting in a frame. Show those to your co-workers (cue eyeroll) and limit yourself to one personal photo on your desk.
- Candy dish. Nope. It attracts visitors, takes up space, and most likely tempts you to eat when you’re not hungry.
- Ditch office supplies. It’s the 21st century and paper clips aren’t going to make a comeback.
- Designate a drawer for office supplies you use on occasion. Staplers, notepads, etc. will still be within arm’s reach, but out of view.
- 2 pens. Seriously. You don’t need a pen container full of ball-points and highlighters. Put a few extra in your office supply drawer and get rid of the rest.
- The war on cords. Take the time to tame your cords. Use zip ties, power strips, etc. to get things under control.
- Digital documents. Do you truly need a physical “in-box”? Document storage has gone digital. Reduce paper use and if it’s necessary, keep it off your work surface and in a file.
- Eat elsewhere. It’s been said that “sitting is the new smoking”. If you need a snack, take 5 minutes, walk to the kitchen and eat there. You’ll stretch your legs, clear your mind, and eating at work becomes a conscious decision. Bring fresh snacks daily. If you only have a banana, you’ll only eat a banana. If you have a drawer full of crackers and cookies… well, you know.
- Computer desktop. Extra icons and files equal clutter and clutter equals distraction. Keep computer desktop items to a minimum.
- At the end of every day make sure your workspace is completely clear. This allows you to start fresh the next morning. Your to-do list won’t be dictated by yesterday’s stuff and you’ll appreciate a clean start to the day.
Removing distractions and keeping a tidy desk is the first step towards your most productive year ever.