Author: Jojo Varona
Are you feeling unproductive, flustered, and stressed out at work? Do you have stacks of paper and files and feel like you don’t know where anything is on your desk? Do you have a lot of sticky notes and keep losing track of your schedule?
If you know something is up at work, but you can’t quite figure out why you are feeling bored, stressed, and low on productivity — then look no further than your desk and work area. A few simple changes to your workspace could be the key to boosting your productivity and de-stressing.
Here are some tips:
1. Identify the Necessities
The first step in learning how to de-clutter your workspace is to start with the necessities. Identify the items you use routinely and keep those things within your reach. Take things that you don’t need and put it in the drawer, set up a designated space on your desk, or throw it out in the trash. This first step will keep you organized and focused on the task at hand.
2. Get in the Zone
Organize your work tasks based upon zones on your desk, then you can compartmentalize and prioritize the work. This also can help as you shift directions in your work flow throughout the day — helping you to mentally shift as you physically shift.
3. Take a break and step away for Lunch
It’s terrific that you pack your lunch and bring it to work — but you don’t need to work through your lunch. De-clutter your desk of unnecessary plates, forks, storage containers and food. Instead, take your lunch and sit anywhere other than your desk. If the weather is nice, sit outside and eat your lunch outside.
What happens when you take a break during the day is a miracle-worker for the overworked employee. Research shows that employees who take a break from their desks during the day come back with renewed energy and creativity for the tasks at hand. If you plan your day well, everyone can afford at least 20 minutes away from their desk to eat lunch. You’ll free your desk from food clutter in the workplace and renew your mind for the busy afternoon ahead.
4. Toss and Delete
This is my biggest problem. I tend to keep papers and files longer than I need to. One of the best ways to de-clutter and get organized in your workspace is to free it from needless paper and email. Trash both paper copies and items you don’t need piling up on your desk and digital files that are just taking up space on your computer or in your email inbox. By approaching each file or paper with a sense of urgency to trash it if you do not really need it, you are creating a freeing environment that not only helps you feel freer and more empowered but actually makes you more organized. There will be less to sift through and more time focused on the project you really need to complete.
5. Clean your desk
Give your desk a good thorough cleaning after you’ve followed the first four steps. Use disinfectant wipes to remove dirt and spills. Clean your keyboard with an air gun made for keyboards and wipe down your computer monitor. Dust, empty your trash can and vacuum your computer chair. A final cleaning is the last step in the process and will make you feel more refreshed and ready to start your work day!
It starts in your workspace, and you can get the results you want simply by de-cluttering your space and tidying it up. A new work landscape can do wonders for boosting productivity, creativity and your mood.
I need to start following these tips myself. Happy de-cluttering!