Let's face it — when your workspace is cluttered, you feel unproductive and unmotivated. There's just too much stimulation around you to distract and disturb your concentration. Even if it's not about distraction, you still need a clean desk to save space and know where everything is.
So, whether you organize to relieve stress or to procrastinate other tasks, make sure you find the time within the day to clean up your workspace. Here are ten things you can do right now to organize your desk for a more productive day.
1. Maintain a permanent layout
According to Gotham Organizers, your monitor should be at eye-level and about 17 inches in front of you. You can really do this however you want but make sure your computer and frequently used items are in the same place on your desk everyday.
I put my laptop diagonally to the left of my desk and my agenda to the right — it's not the most efficient way but the layout works for me.
2. De-clutter useless things from your desk
Throw away anything that doesn't help you with productivity. Make a list of all the items on your desk and categorize them by importance. Trinkets from last Christmas? Stuffed animals from your bed? Throw them out or put them away.
It's alright to have one or two personal items like a framed picture or flowers, but too many objects will distract and overstimulate.
3. Store your supplies
Keep office supplies together either on top of your desk or in a drawer. Things you need everyday should go on top of your desk — preferably in a supplies organizer. Objects you don't need everyday can go in a drawer — maybe even in a drawer organizer.
4. Free up some free space
Not every inch of your desk needs to be covered — leave a sizeable amount of room for short term projects or important documents. This way, you won't be struggling to clear space every time a new item is introduced to your desk.
5. Organize storage containers with colors and labels
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Desk storage bins can be super helpful in organizing your life — just be sure to color code and label them as you see fit. You don't want to be rummaging around all your containers every time you need some blank paper.
Taking time to color code and label can also be a destressing and relaxing task — have fun with cute colors and shapes.
6. Prioritize your tasks
Having to deal with a lot of projects at once can overwhelm and stress you out. Use file holders to prioritize everyday tasks — have a section for urgent, important and non-urgent. This way, you can just pluck a task off the top and work your way to the bottom.
7. Divide your workspace
Does technology distract you? Do you often eat at one of your workspaces? Performing a leisurely task frequently in the same spot can lead to habits and association of that task with the corresponding space. That's why I can never work on my bed like most of my friends.
Instead, separate out your workspace. Designate one area as a technology-free zone or remember to never watch Netflix at your desk. Doing this will provide you with a sense of routine and stability.
8. Don't forget your virtual workspace
Your laptop can also be a source of distraction — organizing your virtual workspace will make you more motivated and less overwhelmed. Trash items on your desktop that you don't need. Delete old and useless files from your folders. Categorize work into different folders and utilize reminders and calendars to organize your life.
9. Put a small trash can near your workspace
A separate trash and recycling bin would work best, but beggars can't be choosers. Place a small wastebasket next to your desk — you won't have to get up every time to throw scrap paper away which can disrupt your workflow.
10. Organize your cables
I use cable clips to keep my chargers and wires in order. This can be very useful, especially if you have an extension cord under your desk. Wires are just prone to becoming tangled up with one another so you don't want to always be undoing them.
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