Your environment has a profound effect on your mindset. In such regard, a cluttered desk will certainly result to anxiety, lack of focus, and productivity problems. In contrast, if you have an organized working area, you will be clearheaded and more efficient. A lot of individuals believe that there is a method to their unorganized madness, and they can function efficiently despite the clutter. Workplace productivity experts say that a person who works with a cluttered desk spends 1 – 1 ½ hours each day trying to look for things.
That’s 1 – 1 ½ hours otherwise spent on completing a task so you don’t have to work beyond office hours. Your own brand of organized chaos would eventually result to about 3 weeks of wasted work per year, and consequently big profit losses for the firm. To help you become more organized and productive at work below are some suggestions.
The first thing you need to do is to de-clutter. Classify supplies and documents on your desk based on how frequently you use them. Put those items you frequently use in easy to reach areas, keep those you seldom use inside the drawers, storage boxes with lids or plastic boxes, and discard those you have no use for. Do not be overly sentimental about parting with unnecessary personal items. You want to have an efficient workstation, not a display shelf for souvenirs.
Keep important documents in storage boxes with lids. If you have a limited workspace, buy clear plastic boxes that you can stack on top of each other and have pull-out drawers. So you can find the things you need quickly, make sure that these containers are labeled accurately. You can get shelves and folder hanging systems that can be mounted onto walls so you can reclaim some of your precious floor space. Make one container to hold documents for projects you are yet to complete and correspondences you have not read yet, and another one to hold those that you have finished already. At the end of the day, the contents in the “completed” box should be forwarded to its next destination, filed, or shredded. Furthermore, you should practice cleaning up your work station an hour before you leave for home, that way, you won’t be met with clutter the next day and you can start fresh.
Be aware that being organized at work extends beyond just physical items. What this means is that you have to mind your virtual clutter on your computer as well. Come up with a naming convention for your files so you don’t have to guess which one is which. Naturally, the files in these computer folders need to follow a specific naming convention as well to eliminate the guesswork. Also, you should have a different email accounts for personal and corporate purposes. Don’t check your email every few minutes, instead, do it twice or thrice daily. Lastly, identify your digital distractions, checking your Facebook account for instance, and avoid them.