I walked around my office the other day, and was amazed that some of my colleagues could get anything done. Their desks are piles of papers, food wrappers and empty soda cans. The level of disorganization is getting so bad that management is making the lowest level managers attend organizational seminars.
While I believe that these seminars are good in theory, most people don’t apply what they learn, and go back to the same old mess.
Even if you look around your desk right now and think “It’s not bad”, I would ask you if you can tell me exactly what is in your desk drawers? If you can’t, there is room for improvement.
Here are 5 ways to organize your workspace:
Collect Like Items Together
Put all your writing implements in one place. Same with paperclips, tape, etc. Chances are you have things everywhere. Keeping things together gives you more of a chance to remember where things are. So when you are looking for the permanent marker, you will know it’s with your pens, and not have to go hunting through the drawers to find it.
Get Rid Of Excess
I collect pens, or rather, pens find their way to my desk. This is amusing to me because I don’t use the office-supplied pens, but rather use my own. Yet when I cleaned out my desk for a recent cubicle shift, I found almost a dozen pens. I don’t need that many, so I put the excess back in the supply cabinet. My pen cup looks much better with its three instruments in it.
This can also apply to computer equipment. When was the last time that you used that gadget on the corner of your desk? If you don’t use it at least weekly, put it away. Chances are you won’t miss it.
Get Rid of Non-Working Items
Face it, the stapler isn’t going to heal itself. Dried pens won’t come back to life. And bent staples aren’t going to straighten. Get rid of broken items. The aura these non-working things give off affects your working game.
Limit the Papers
Having too much on your desk at any one time is a distraction. You may not be consciously thinking about proposal X while working on presentation Y, but if the papers are in front of you, every time your eyes move over them proposal X will go through your mind. Gather up the papers you aren’t working on right now and get them out of the way.
Limit The Visual Clutter
We all like to personalize our workspaces. But how many pictures from your children go up before you don’t see them anymore? Just like the working papers above, if your eyes pass over pictures of other places and people you aren’t with frequently, do you really think your attention is truly on your work? If you aren’t seeing these items, why have them? Limit your personalizations to a few meaningful pieces.