If you find yourself overwhelmed, disorganized or having trouble concentrating, simply improving your work surroundings can have a positive impact. If you are looking for a way to boost your productivity, begin with these six tips for desk organization!
1. Avoid Over-Organizing.
This may seem like an oxymoron in light of the topic but often times we can overwhelm our workspace with all the containers, trays, shelves, writing utensil holders, paper clip cups, sticky note dispensers, etc. In our effort to be efficient, we can actually create a certain amount of organizational chaos. Evaluate your workspace and decide if you can consolidate some of your office supply holders. Does having everything at your fingertips help you or hinder you by taking up valuable work area. How often are you using all of the items on your desk? Even our attempts to be organized can create clutter that stifles productivity.
Once you have effectively narrowed down your organizational apparatuses, streamline your desktop items to include those you use several times in an hour. If you use permanent markers once a day, getting the coffee mug that holds the permanent markers off your desk will be like opening the window and letting in a little fresh air. Remember that reaching into a desk drawer to retrieve a writing utensil will not set your productivity back but shuffling items around to free up workspace might.
3. Go Against the Grain.
Typical office organizational strategies suggest working on one assignment at a time, completing it and then beginning a new one. Frankly, some people are much more productive and organized when they are ping-ponging between projects and you may find that strategies for one endeavor actually work for others thus doubling your productivity and keeping the work flow moving at a speedier pace. Keep only the paperwork on your desk that you are actually working on, even if you are juggling several assignments. All other paperwork should be filed away until ready to tackle it.
4. Keep Personal Items to a Minimum.
It’s nice to have the familiar faces of our loved ones smiling at us from their dollar store frames, the picture your daughter colored at school taped up on the filing cabinet, two or three coffee cups to choose from each day, hand lotion, and the various stress relieving knickknacks that are popular today in the name of Zen. What about the fun items received at the office birthday party you now display proudly on your desk though you know you will never actually take the Geritol vitamins. One family photo and one favorite coffee cup should be enough to add familiarity that can aid in productivity while too many items of a personal nature can actually distract us throughout the day. Applying hand lotion 6 times a day because its available is probably overkill and will certainly slow you down.
5. Schedule Desktop Snack Time.
If the desk drawers are full of candy bars, crackers, or trail mix it can be tempting to make snack time an all day event. Aside from potential health problems, stopping several times a day to unwrap, chew, wash our hands and clean our desk can be productivity killers. Set your cell phone alarm or a set time for grabbing a bite to eat and stick to it. One morning snack, one afternoon snack is sufficient or better yet, leave the snacking to the break room and avoid eating at your desk at all. Your desk drawers will thank you for the extra space now made available for your permanent markers.
6. Make Room For Time.
Last but not least, there is always room on your desk for “time”. A calendar showing the month, day and date will keep you focused and from trying to remember the date when working on time sensitive documents which helps with organization, as well. Looming project deadlines will be easily kept in the forefront of your mind with just a quick look at the calendar. Keeping the day of the month before you for an at-a-glance reminder will keep you moving forward and increase your productivity.