7 Effective Ways How Your Office Should Be Organized
There’s a good chance that part of the stresses you deal with on a daily basis is linked to how organized (or disorganized) your office space is. According to New York City based professional organizer, Lisa Zaslow, “surveys show the average person loses an hour a day to disorganization.” That’s an hour you could have used much more productively. And let’s not forget the stress you experience when you’re frantically trying to find something you need urgently.
While the digital age has enabled us to be reduce much paperwork and remain on our computers for most of the day, we still can’t avoid “all” paperwork. We’ll still work with physical documents that are requirements of our job. And that’s alright as long as you’re able to sensibly stay organized.
Working in a well-organized office environment can massively benefit your productivity. It allows you to remain in control of your environment, feel competent, remain focused as you’re less distracted and gives you an opportunity to be much more welcoming to incoming work. All-in-all, staying organized will position you to be more successful. Here are a few trick on how you can achieve it.
1. Clear Uncluttered Desktop
Probably the most important space in your office – where you spend most of your time – is your desktop. This is your main battlefield and hence for productivity it’s imperative that it’s uncluttered. You should be able to navigate around your desktop with ease. Reaching items shouldn’t require to you shift around too much. For example, keep your phone on your dominant side so you don’t have to reach across. The key to a well-organized desktop is minimalism. Some of us (the creative types) do work well in our mess (what they call organized chaos). If that works for you then go for it. For everyone else, a crisp, clear and uncluttered desktop is the way to go.
2. Maintain Good Posture
Most times when we’re so engrossed in work we tend to let our bodies loose and end up sitting in odd positions. This directly links to how fast we’ll hit fatigue during the course of the day (besides the obvious health issues that may arise in the long run). To tackle this, make sure you’re seated all the way back on your chair, with your back well rested against it. Adjust your seat’s height so your legs are comfortable. A good posture requires that you maintain correct shoulder and arm placement. Make sure your monitor is at eye-level and about 17 inches from your body.
3. Store Your Office Supplies
I’m sure you’re tempted to keep your fancy, colorful office supplies on your desktop but they only add on to the clutter. The simple rule of thumb here is, if you use it daily (pens, pencils, highlighter, etc.) it has a place on our desk. If you use it a few times a week (stapler, tape dispenser, paper clips) then the logical place for them is in your desk drawer. Also, make sure you store them grouped together and in an organized manner so that you’re not wasting your time hunting them.
4. Resist Over Personalization
It’s true that you spend most of the day at work and obviously want something to remind you of your family and loved ones. You put up pictures of your vacations or other items of interest that reflect on your personality on your desk. But too many of these items and mementos can be distracting. Whether we actively let it or not, our brain processes everything we see. The more items you have on your desk the more your brain will have to process. Basically, you’re asking your brain to think of many things that probably it shouldn’t at that moment. To keep your brain focused on work, try limited the number of personal items on your desk to no more than three.
5. Keep White Space
Using up all your desk space isn’t the best way to stay organized. You’ll often find yourself needing space to sign or review documents. Sometimes a colleague may walk up to you with their laptop to discuss something. If you’ve utilized all your desktop space you’ll find yourself lost for such spontaneous space needs. Hence, it’s always a good idea to allocate an A4 sheet size space for such necessities and occasions.
6. Prioritize Things On Your Desk
So what should be on your desktop aside from the things I’ve already mentioned. Pretty much the only thing that’s left are high priority and important documents. Documents related to active projects, items that require your attention or those that you’re going to discuss in an upcoming meeting (that even a meeting for the current day) should be the only ones that find their way on your desktop. Also, to better utilize space and avoid being hidden behind a stack of paperwork try using vertical folders. These also help you stay productive as important documents won’t get buried under those that are lower priority.
7. Reevaluate and Reassess
Now that you’ve organized your desktop to maximize productivity the key to stay on course is to frequently reevaluate and reassess your workspace. Scan through your desktop to ensure nothing unnecessary or low priority has crept in. Doing this at least every fortnight will help you maintain a spotless and productive work space.
Sometimes more than the bigger things you do, it’s the little time and attention you give to staying organized that can help you in a big way to be more productive. Your workspace reflects your personality as well – maintaining it speaks volumes about you. So let’s get to it and start being more organized!
Like what you read? Subscribe to the Keijzer Community and get updates to your inbox. You’ll also get a free download which will help you take your leadership teams through a growth model which will help them mature on a personal and professional level.