We spend most of the day at work., whether it be an office or a home office. At the same time, we often sacrifice our own comfort and rarely think about how the space around us affects us. If it seems to you that you are not doing anything and are bogged down with a bunch of responsibilities, perhaps the matter is in an unassembled pile of papers on the table, where it is impossible to find anything. We share tips to help you organize your workplace more efficiently in order to work more productively.
Get rid of excess
Before you start reorganizing your workplace, you need to throw out all unnecessary things. Even if you are more productive at an uncleaned desk, it doesn't hurt to get rid of what isn't doing you any good. This applies to everything: work papers, office supplies, and any other things - try to get by with the necessary minimum. Cold-bloodedly throw away what does not help you in your work: a couple of memorabilia and a favorite framed photo will not hurt, but if there are much more of them, they can take away a serious part of the work surface.
Do a spring cleaning every few months and keep it clean regularly. Choose the most convenient schedule for you (for example, 15 minutes at the end of each working day or an hour on Friday) and stick to it - this will make it easier to keep order, and documents and papers will not accumulate on the table. And to get rid of unnecessary things easier, always keep a trash can next to the table. It is also helpful to wipe the table with an antibacterial cloth at the end of the day.
Deal with papers and documents
Let's be honest: Papers are the main source of waste on your desktop. And, although we work with them less and less, there are not so many companies that have completely switched to electronic document management as there could be. To make it easier to deal with the flow, you can have two trays or two folders on the table, depending on the number of documents you have to deal with. In the first, you need to add everything new: applications for signature, unopened letters and the like. In the second, you need to send the papers that you looked at and which you need to deal with later - so nothing will be left without attention.
For papers that you do not need to deal with right now, but which you still must have with you, it is better to have a certain storage system. These do not have to be familiar folders: if you don't have a lot of space on your desk, you can try hanging special trays (for example, for storing newspapers) on the wall. Small notes, memos and reminders can be hung on a special net instead of a boring cork board. Particularly important documents can be scanned and a copy stored on a computer.
Consider a system of labels and labels - perhaps it will be enough for you to simply label the folders, or it may be useful to color them in order to find what you need faster. As you fold the papers, ask yourself if you really need them and whether you will refer to them in the future - most of what we keep "just in case" we do not use later. Try not to have a folder "Other" or "Miscellaneous" - most likely, over time you will forget what exactly is there.
Try to implement the paper-action principle. Do not let documents and notes just lie on the table, consider them as an action that you need to perform: for example, a business card with a phone number written on it is an excuse to add a new contact to your smartphone or make a note in your diary that you owe someone call.
Use boxes and other storage tools
After you sort out the papers, pay attention to other items on your desk.No matter how lovingly you choose office supplies, it is better not to keep them all the time on the desk, but to take them out as needed - this way there will be more space and less dust. For small things, you can, for example, use egg holders. It is worth folding into a separate box or container what you do not use very often: for example, a stroke, calculator or tape.
Boxes, folders and storage containers are inexpensive (they can be found in the same IKEA), but they will help to use the workspace much more efficiently - both in the office and at home. Choose durable ones that will last a long time - and remember to think about your labeling and dropping system, just like with paper.
Keep the wires tidy
To make the desktop look cleaner, it is worth hiding the wires and extension cords: you can buy a special container, or you can try to make it yourself - from a shoe box. If there is not much space and there is nowhere to hide the wires, you should at least carefully tie them so that they do not get in the way and do not get confused.
Sort files on your computer
Another important point in organizing your workspace is sorting files on your computer. If you haven’t done it yet, take an hour or two to organize the documents in a new way: it’s scary to take on this, but then you’ll say thank you to yourself. Just as in the case with ordinary papers, systematization and labels that are convenient for you help a lot here. If you often have to work with different versions of the same document, it is helpful to think of a naming system that will be clear to everyone working on the task. In addition, in the name of each new version, you can add the date and, if necessary, the time - so it will be easy to understand when the last changes were made and compare the versions.
Folders that you do not need right now, but will be useful in the future, can be archived - it will be easier to navigate this way. And a copy of the most valuable documents should be stored in the cloud - just in case.
Organize extra storage space
This advice is needed primarily for those who work from home, and not only with documents, but also with more voluminous materials: if leaving papers on the desk at the weekend in the office is not so scary, then at home you want the space to be as clean as possible. Not everyone has a separate office or a large work area, but even in this case there is a way out. You can add hanging shelves above the table or organize additional storage space underneath.
Divide the workplace into zones
This is a useful technique that will help you cope with diverse tasks more efficiently: set aside a place for yourself to work at the computer and a separate area for tasks that can be solved without it - with printed documents or, for example, brainstorming with a notebook in hand. Even if you have a small table, you can still zone the space: it is enough, for example, to move to the other end or sit on a common sofa.
If you work from home, it is very important to set aside a separate work space (even if it will be part of the kitchen table or a small folding table). This is primarily necessary in order to separate work and personal life (working from home, it can be difficult to switch from one mode to another), but it can also come in handy from a more practical point of view. For example, it is useful to have a separate work computer, which will not be approached by children and which will not break down at the most inopportune moment.
Keep the things you need close at hand
We think you are already applying this principle, but it will not be superfluous to say it again. When equipping a home office, organizing the space and determining where this or that thing will lie, start first of all from how the work process is built.The most important things should always be at hand, otherwise be guided by how you use the items - for example, store paper near the printer, and stickers near the area where you usually work with documents or read books necessary for work.
Take care of things that make you feel better
Thinking about the workspace, do not forget about comfort - including in the little things. It is very important to choose a comfortable chair so that there is no pain in the back and neck, take care of sufficient lighting (if it is dark in the office, buy a table lamp) and other things that can make everyday office life better, such as a pillow under the wrist, which helps prevent the onset of tunnel syndrome, or a footrest that relieves stress on the back and neck.
Don't eat at your desk
Although this advice does not apply to the organization of space, but to the organization of the workflow, and it seems obvious, it is still often neglected - and in vain. While dining at the desk, you can quietly eat more (when we are busy, we do not pay attention to how much we eat, even if we are no longer hungry, and often choose not the most healthy snacks). In addition, a lunch break (albeit a short one) will help to distract from business and return to them with renewed vigor.
If you can't avoid a snack at your desk, choose food that doesn't crumble, spill or get dirty (shaking crumbs out of the keyboard or spilling soup on a work laptop is not a fun prospect), try to be careful and not interfere with others (a strong food smell can be unpleasant to colleagues), clean up after yourself, and be sure to wipe down the table after lunch.
Photos: CB2, Blu Dot, IKEA, MoMA Design Store