A new year is an excellent time to reassess your personal office space. A fresh start and a chance to finally find a workflow system that is efficient.

An organized work space has more appeal than just how it looks. Organization has been proven to increase efficiency and reduce stress. Why? Aren’t creative and intelligent people supposed to be a little disorganized? Or at least that’s what you’ve been telling yourself now for a few years. The fact is clutter sends signals to the brain that there is extra work to be done. Too many of those signals can put your brain on overload and leaves you feeling stressed. Organization, on the other hand, leaves you with a feeling of being in control.

Think about the last time you lost that one important piece of paper where you jotted down the phone number of a new prospect. Where could it have gone? It didn’t leave your desk! You probably eventually found it, but how many unproductive minutes did you spend searching for it and how much stress and frustration did it create for you?

A recent article from CNN Business offers some excellent suggestions on how to get your workspace in order.

  1. Get your layout right. By this they mean your desk. Place your computer monitor front and center, your phone to either the right or left side and leave a space for a notepad and files. The rest of the desk should be uncluttered. It helps to keep your focus on the task at hand.
  2. Mind your office supplies. Running out of staples, pens, writing pads, paper for the printer are all annoying and waste time. Keep a list of the items you’re getting low on and make sure to check in on your list weekly. Great River Office Products delivers to your door the next day and in some cases, we can do same day deliveries in the Twin Cities area.
  3. Go easy on reminders. Post-it Notes can arguably be one of the greatest inventions of our time, but too many of them stuck on a computer monitor is just unproductive. You cannot focus on any one of them and therefore none of them are effective. Use them sparingly and clean them off your desk daily.
  4. Don’t go overboard with personal items. It’s wonderful to bring pieces of home life to work, but too many bits and pieces just add to clutter and take up valuable “white space” on your desk.
  5. Control your inbox. Your email inbox is not a permanent holding ground for email. Read them, take care of the tasks they create, and either delete or organize your email into reasonable folders. 10,000 emails are impossible to manage.
  6. Embrace white space. We’ve mentioned white space a few times already, but it’s so important we’re going to mention it again. Your brain needs some of this precious white space to focus on the important pieces and to give your eyes a break. Do not fill every square inch of your desk.
  7. Prioritize your work flow. When there are many tasks to accomplish in a day, it’s easy to get overwhelmed thinking all should be done at once. That’s not possible so organizing by priority is a great way to systematically get things done.
  8. A simple, but effective system is to keep a list, either electronic or paper, and code the tasks in the following way:
    • Important and urgent
    • Urgent, but not necessarily important
    • Important, without urgency
    • Non-urgent, and not important

9. Reassess frequently. At the end of each day, take a few minutes to asses your desk. What needs to be filed and put away, what items need to be re-prioritized for tomorrow, what can be throw out? A simple 20-minute assessment and clean-up of your desk will make tomorrow morning a more productive and stress-free place.

Do you need suggestions on office organization? Great River Office Products can help. We have an excellent office interior design team that can take on the bigger task of designing your workspace for beauty and efficiency. Ready to learn more? Contact us today.