The first thing most people do when they reach the office is to turn their computer on and start on their job or surf the internet. Sometimes we get frustrated at work not because of the workload but the work environment. If you do most of your work at a fixed location, then spending some time to clean your work environment can assist you with additional clarity before you begin working.
It is difficult for one to work in a messy work environment. We are not fixated on the monitor for the whole time and random items lying around such as notes, books, used papers etc. can become distractions.
Of course, this is not applicable for everyone. While some people perform better in a messy work environment, most of us find it hard to focus. If you belong to the latter, perhaps it is time to take action to clean up your place.
In time for Chinese New Year spring clean, here are some tips for you to organise your work environment!
1. Clear one item at a time
Before you switch on the computer after reaching the office, check if your place is in a mess. Are there papers scattered around? If there are, take 5 minutes, go to the closest loose item and put it back in place. It can be as simple as putting the newspaper that you read yesterday into the recycling bin or filing the documents that you were halfway through. Whichever task you decide to do, begin with something simple - one thing at a time and it’ll inspire you to clear another item. Before you know it, you’ll have a clean working environment with a lot more space to work with.
2. Archive your documents
Only keep relevant documents from active projects on your desk. Store away and archive documents from previous projects that are not required. For folders that you keep on your desk, try using vertical file holders instead of stacking the files on top of each other. This allows you to access the files easily and minimise clutter.
3. Go easy on reminders
Use sticky notes in moderation. If you are going to stick post-its all around your monitor, the notes are no longer effective in reminding you of important tasks. Only use them for important reminders that are short-term and clear them away once the task is done.
Although it does not seem like you can do a lot in five minutes, every small step counts. Focus on clearing one part of your work desk daily and you will be surprised to find that there are actually additional space that you can create for yourself. Make it a habit and you will have an easy time organising your work environment! More importantly, a cluster free work environment helps you to focus and increase productivity.
Take 5 minutes break and start clearing away now!