Advancing

How to Create an Efficient and Productive Work Space

I’ve been talking about the importance and payoff of getting organized for over 20 years, consistently, routinely, to anyone who wants to listen.

And even today, when I poll clients, prospects, and followers, they continue to say they want to hear MORE tips!

So here are a few tips that can help.

Let’s start with your workspace

You spend hours and hours each week in your office. Is it a comfortable place?

  • Is there sufficient lighting? Does it have the right type of lighting? You need overhead, some natural light if you can get it (without producing a glare on your screen) and task lighting. LED lights are the best for the task lighting.
  • What about ergonomics? Don’t forget to pay attention to ergonomics because it’s not just about comfort but also preventing injury. In fact, North Carolina State University has a quiz and guidelines to help you determine what you need. Many people skip this, but it’s not a great idea. You don’t want to suffer from carpal tunnel, back pain, or sight issues.
  • Is it painted a soothing color? You can improve your productivity by painting your surroundings the right color. I did it, and it makes a difference. Just consider how much time you spend in your office! Here are some ideas.
  • Does it reflect you and your interests? For example, I recently cleaned out my office and only put visual reminders around of things I absolutely loved. It not only streamlined and simplified my space but it made it a much more enjoyable place to spend time.

What about your organizing system?

Clutter is a productivity sapper. So here are a few thoughts:

  • It’s here somewhere. It’s summer time. Lazy days. Take some time to clear the clutter in your workspace. Clutter is a time zapper and a mental ticking time bomb frequently reminding you of what you haven’t done. It’s stressful. And no one needs more stress. Start clearing out and if you need help, find a toss buddy to hold the trash bag.
  • Your personal space has to work for you. Not your spouse, boss, or friend. Rather than trying to copy others or replicate some formula, figure out what works for you and then figure out how to arrange your space or desktop to support what you need. Try it, revise if necessary and keep doing that til it feels like a pair of slippers. For example, do you suffer from ‘out of sight, out of mind’? Then create an organized visual storage system that works on your desktop using a literature sorter. Does your filing system make sense to YOU? If not, reduce the main categories to no more than 7 (with as many sub-categories as you want) and try it out. It’s all about figuring out your ‘gotta haves’ so you can create a plan around them. The truer you stay to yourself, the more likely you will be successful in maintaining your space.

Also read: Get Organized and Take Control of Your Work

Maintenance

Yes. This is required. Getting organized means you create a system for yourself, with multiple processes that are used day-in and day-out. And ANY system needs maintenance. Think of your car. Your home. Your boat. You can’t just have it without spending some time maintaining it. Same is true of your office and desktop.

  • Make it part of your daily routine. Whatever file you remove that day, make it a habit of putting it back where it belongs by the end of the day. The trick here is to make it part of your day rather than feel it’s just ‘one more thing’ you have to do. Making it part of your routine eliminates the evenings or weekends cleaning out.
  • Clean off your desk at the end of every day. Make it a habit of cleaning off your desk before you go home. It’s similar to making your bed daily. Seeing a cleared-off desk when the next morning makes a world of difference in how you feel about starting your busy day.

Start now with one thing and build. It’s a step-by-step process that will feel great when you’re done – but you have to start at some point, so why not now?

Also read: 3 Surprising Things Your Workspace Says About You

About the Author

Cynthia Kyriazis, Founder and President of Productivity Partners Inc., has provided productivity training and coaching for Fortune 500 to small business clients for over 20 years. Recently named one of “28 best online productivity experts”, her passion is teaching employees how to apply the principles of organization and time-management and to help them navigate the 24/7 demands on their time. Cynthia is set to release her second book in February 2016, Get Organized. Get Focused. Get Moving.: How to Avoid Productivity Potholes, a guide for helping business professionals avert common obstacles to productivity.