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How to de-clutter your work space and become more productive

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Lizzie Tasker Blog, Wellbeing, Work Life...

Hit a productivity rut? It happens to most of us at some point. Check out the tips in this week’s blog and then take some time to ‘spring clean’ your workspace and get organised. Be sure to let us know in the comments if you try it out!

When you’re busy day in and day out, it doesn’t take long before your desk starts to become buried under a pile of papers / leftover lunch / sticky notes etc.

Don’t underestimate the impact a cluttered and disorganised work area can have on your productivity. Research shows a messy desk can affect the way the brain works, acting as a distraction and even resulting in feelings of frustration.

Commit to making some time, whether it’s a one-off blitz, or a small amount each day, to getting organised and you’ll reap the benefits down the line.

Assess the damage

Look at where you’re at and decide how’s best to tackle it. What do you actually need right now? What can be filed away? What needs to be kept? What can be destroyed? Be as ruthless as you can be (although, be careful not to throw away anything important!).

Organise your desk

A place for everything and everything in its place is your new motto! Keep what’s actually out on your desk to an absolute minimum, i.e. the things you use every day and what you’re currently working on. Trays, stationary pots and magazine holders can all help to keep things in their right place.

Organise your filing

Create systems which are logical and simplistic, and store things in folders or boxes which are clearly labelled. The key is not to over-complicate; could someone else follow it if you weren’t there? Are you going to be able to sustain it?

Declutter your computer

Decluttering is not limited to paper-based files, the content of your electronic devices matter too! On your laptop or computer, your desktop, hard drive and emails can be sorted into folders and documents re-named to make them easier to find. Delete duplicates and old files to free up storage, and remove any unwanted software or programmes; not only should this save you time it could also improve the performance of your computer too.

Look at the bigger picture

Considering the amount of time we spend at work, it makes sense to create an overall environment which promotes a sense of calm. Factors such as introducing plants into the work area, natural lighting and even what colour the walls are painted can all play a part in making a pleasant atmosphere.