10 ways to optimize your workspace for increased productivity

Before drilling into the topic, let’s get this one cleared out – the purpose of your workspace: to make it easier for you to work in a productive manner and to help getting a sense of direction throughout your day.

Now, regardless of how your workspace looks – a stadium-wide ultramodern tech-loaded office, a simple desk in your bedroom or a 10 square meters mansard, you probably had your share of frustration and dissatisfaction related to a certain type of clutter and disorder that kind of makes your productivity come to a premature stall.

Since a considerable part of the day is spent in the workspace and since it’s obvious that just as sleeping in a bed that feels uncomfortable will not get you much rest, working in an environment not crafted to your needs will affect your end results, let’s see what your workspace needs to make your work more pleasant and effective:

1. A neat and tidy desk

Only keep essentials on it such as: computer, telephone, lamp etc. Always try to find those positions for them that get you the simplest and fastest access to them at any time. Get your angles right – from that of your monitor to that of your chair you should always aim for the maximum comfort and ease from these utilities. Remove photos, calendar or similar items from your desk – they belong to walls. No Babel-like stacks of papers and files – even if you work with considerable amounts of paper, by the end of every workday, just have them off your desk. And, yes, however digital you like to get, keep a notebook within reach. It’s priceless.

2. Posted goals

Everyone needs reminding and motivation and reminders about motivation – having your goals in your sight each and every day takes care of that. You can also use digital post-its or an Eisten poster on which you’ve scribbled your own motivational phrase. Just make sure you don’t let yourself forget why you are doing what you are doing and what you need to be doing to get things done…and achieve success. Was that clear?

3. A cleaning kit

When you have tones of tasks waiting for your commitment, the last thing you want is wasting time getting what you need for cleaning your desk and around it and actually cleaning it. That’s why, it’s recommended having a small box with your monitor spray or whatever, some sanitizing wipes etc., somewhere in a desk drawer or under your desk so you can clean up your area and remove the coffee circle-spots within minutes.

5. An energizer kit

OK, I only called it like this because it sounded cool (or not?); it’s actually that common something referred to as snack. Instead of rushing over to the closest store to get some crunchies, or asking your colleagues for change so you can abuse the sandwich machine when you feel like chewing on something desperately, simply keep one of your drawers supplied with cereal bars, small packages of nuts and fruit based snacks and eventually a small bottle with homemade tea. This way you’ll always feel the comfort of hunger back-ups right at your fingers.

6. A trash bin

And I’m not talking about the one on your computer’s desktop. Get a plastic one in the appropriate size for the type of work you are doing. Keep it under your desk or somewhere else in easy reach. To throw away is crucial for having it the right way.

8. A daily-necessities spot

This means reserving a small corner in your office where you always put, hang, stack that stuff you use on daily basis or very frequently. If you live in Mobile, Alabama, your umbrella might be eligible for this spot. Also, your home keys, car keys etc fit this profile very well. Just put it there, already!

9. A categorizing habit

Implement this so you can avoid having to go through endless files over and over again to get that one you only need at that moment and get rid of the feeling of mental and physical mess that starts every time you set to work. Sort your files into urgent (or active) and non-urgent (or non-active) and then, have the urgent ones always quickly available whether on your desk or in a file cabinet and rest the non-urgent ones in a clearly marked box.

10. Plants

If you already have a stable relationship with nature in general and flowers or plants in particular, then further explanation is redundant; however, if this tip comes as novelty then you should know that surrounding yourself with natural elements has been proven as a great way to reduce stress. To get on a more ‘legitimate’ note, according to a 2011 research (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0272494410001027?np=y) which ‘studied possible benefits of indoor plants on attention capacity in a controlled laboratory experiment’, a vegetation friendly workspace gives way to a more relaxed and content state of mind and allows ” your brain to recharge faster and better. Get greedy on the greeny!