When it comes to workspace clutter, the truth is that the majority of us would use all the organization tips we can get. According to studies, the average American employee spends an average of 1.5 hours a day looking for lost information, which accumulates to a whole six weeks per year, per employee. It is believed that Americans alone waste an average of nine million hours daily trying to locate missing items in the workplace.
Organization equals to productivity; this means that with a disorganized workspace, it would be impossible to get your work done efficiently. Fortunately, most Americans seem to understand this perfectly. According to a recent study, 77% of Americans believe that a disorganized workspace holds back their productivity while 90% believe that clutter not only has a negative impact on their work lives but on their personal lives as well.
In addition to boosting productivity, an organized workspace communicates professionalism. Your workspace represents your proficiency, and a cluttered desk can easily send the wrong message to your co-workers, bosses, and clients. On the other hand, a well-organized desk communicates a strong work ethic.
Another advantage that comes with a tidy workspace is that it enables you to remember important things. If the physical inbox on your desk is always cluttered and overflowing with both incoming and outgoing documents, missing an important message or misplacing an important document becomes very easy.
A clean workspace inspires creativity too, which is very important in the workplace. Keeping your desk clean will keep your mind clean too. The less clutter you see as you think, the better the chances of focusing on the task at hand. Don't be afraid to discard that loose paper which you believe still has information that may come in handy in future. Instead, scan it, store it in your computer and discard the hard copy.
A tidy workspace also saves you time. Most people postpone de-cluttering their desks claiming not to have enough time to do so without considering the long minutes they spend hour after hour sorting through their files trying to locate long forgotten documents. Think of the amount of time you would save if every item in your desk or office has a designated place.
All in all, an organized workspace reduces stress, establishes you as a competent employee or employer, boost productivity, and saves time.
So, is your workspace a mess? Do you often wonder how the clutter on your desk grew overnight? If your answer to any of these questions is yes, do not allow your mess to affect your productivity. Here are ten organization ideas to help you out -
1. Throw out unnecessary clutter - While throwing out unnecessary clutter does not necessarily mean sterilizing your workspace, allowing stuff that you don't need to lie around does not make sense. Before you discard anything, makes sure it does not contain any unsaved information or data.
2. Introduce a physical inbox on your desk - Almost every one of us has an email inbox or two. Unfortunately, we don't seem to realize the importance of having a physical inbox on our desks. Designate two document boxes or trays – a physical inbox and an outbox, one for incoming papers, and the second one for outgoing papers. This will prevent important papers from scattering all over your desk and muddling up with other documents.
3. Always have a trash can close by - If you often find yourself playing paper toss with your trash can, it's a clear sign that your need to have a trash can or two within reach. That way, there will be no need for you to get up from your seat whenever you need to discard a paper or two.
4. Decrease incoming paper - While decreasing or minimizing incoming paper may seem like an impossible thing, technology offers an efficient way to achieve this. If a document can be sent to your computer as a soft copy, encourage the practice and get rid of unnecessary subscriptions.
5. Schedule regular de-cluttering time - Scheduling regular de-cluttering time is among the many organization ideas that many people have come across at one time or another, but never bothered to put to practice. If you can admit to not remembering the last time you cleaned or de-cluttered your desk, you really need to consider the stress you undergo every time an important document goes missing, and the amount of time you spend everyday trying to locate things. Schedule at least 5 minutes of de-cluttering every morning or evening.
6. Avoid the habit of putting trash down - Most people have the habit of putting all kinds of trash, such as soda bottles or cans and food or gum wrappers, on their desks or the floor. Cultivate a habit of holding onto your trash until you reach a trash can, or, embrace organization tip 3 where you will always have a trash can within reach. With such organization ideas, your desk or office will rarely have trash lying around.
7. Create two work zones - Not all tasks are created equal; some are computer related while others don't require a computer to get accomplished. With this in mind, approach this perspective by creating two work zones, one for computer work, and the other one for non-computer work. Your computer work zone should be where your computer is situated while the non-computer work zone should be a place where you can sign papers, stamp envelops, thumb through papers, and perform other manual tasks. Through this approach, you will be able to get things done in a more organized way.
8. Invest in organizing trays and bigger drawers - Tape dispensers, paper clips holders, and staplers are some examples of office items that can be organized easily through office trays and drawers. Personal items too, such as iPhones, earphones, chargers, cameras, wallets and sunglasses, need to be organized, and setting aside a drawer or tray for them will help to keep your workspace neat.
9. Label your cables - Labeling your cables is among the most valuable organization tips you can ever come across. if ignored, cables can turn into a wild, twisted mess that can easily turn into a hazard.
10. Hire a helper - Hiring a professional organizer or an organized person to keep your workspace tidy on your behalf is advisable if you really can't afford the time to do it personally.
In conclusion, even with our organization tips and ideas, if you are really working, your workspace is bound to be a little disorganized by the end of the day. That is why it is advisable to straighten things up every morning or evening to avoid creating a huge mess out of your normal activities.