Why Your Work Space Matters to Your Productivity

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Two Great Office Organization Ideas

Three out of four workers surveyed worldwide agreed with this statement: ”I find myself becoming more stressed when everything is a mess and I can’t find important documents when needed.”

Below are some tips to help improve your productivity by considering the space you work in.

If the statement above describes you, you may be employing the popular  “file by pile” method. two great office organization ideas for cluttered workspacesEveryone I encounter who works this way tells me, “but I know exactly where everything is!” But consider that clutter saps your mental energy, and has a demotivating effect on your peace of mind.  The fact that you can remember where everything is skirts the point: you shouldn’t have to.  Relying on your brain, instead of a system for handling the clutter, is more mentally taxing than necessary and means you’re working harder than you need to work to stay on top of it all.

Also, a cluttered work space gives the impression, to yourself and others, that you are not in control of the details.  Having piles of paper stacked on your desk is like having stacks of unopened mail.  Some part of your mental energy is going to be distracted by the nagging worry that there is something in the pile you are forgetting or should have dealt with by now.  Most people don’t realize how much stress they are under until their situation changes, so try to remember how good it felt the last time you had a clean and uncluttered work space.

The second item to consider about your work space: is it really a work space?  Do you have an appropriate amount of space for the tools of your work, such as ample room to comfortably hold your computer and peripherals, some space to write and do work that isn’t computer based, plus storage space for other tools and accessories, like pens, stapler, paper clips, phone, calculator, reference material, unopened mail, glass of water, outlets and USB ports, etc.?  If you routinely “work” squeezed into a corner of your couch, the end of the dining room table, or squeezed onto some flat surface in a corner of your bedroom, then you are seriously impacting your productivity.  Most workers today are knowledge workers, and therefore our tools and products are information and communication.  Do you think a brilliant artist’s work would be hindered by trying to create on the kitchen counter?  If you work from home, have you taken this work seriously enough to dedicate some real “work space” in your home, or do you just pick up and move around based on whatever else is happening in your house at the time?

These two issues are related: if your space is cluttered, is the reason it’s cluttered that there isn’t really enough room for you to appropriately deal with the clutter?  Is it because the items you need to do your work don’t have a home in this location in which you’re trying to work?

Creating a true work space where you have room to work comfortably plus have a home for all the tools of your trade will make it much easier for you to keep track of the details and prevent the clutter and disorganization from distracting you and sapping your productivity.

For more on empowering your workspace and office organization ideas, see this post and also chapter 8 of Personal Productivity Secrets. Thanks for reading!

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