As somebody who has a home office, I am totally left up to my own devices in terms of how my workspace appears, my organization of the area and my productivity. I’ve worked in offices with clean desk policies, and where I can’t really get in and add any decor. The things hanging on my wall were extension telephone lines to other employees, a heap of post-it reminders that ended up collecting dust and maybe a birthday card or two.
That kind of workspace was not inspiring to me. If you have a home office, casual or creative work environment where you have the freedom to what you like with your desk you should embrace it, and create a workspace that becomes one of your favorite places.
Even if you don’t have unlimited freedom to decorate your desk, try and implement as many as you can from the following workspace organization and productivity tips.
Let’s get started!!!…..
Always have something to write in
I’m not talking about TYPE in, I really mean you need a notebook with a gorgeous cover within arms reach for you to write down your ideas. I can be hella focused on getting something done, then out of nowhere an exciting idea pops into my mind and next thing I’ve got 10 new tabs open and I’m in research mode. WELL, that’s not very productive. What I have learned to do, is have a page in my journal where I write ‘marketing campaign ideas’, ‘blog post ideas’, ‘newsletter ideas’ and so on, then whenever something pops into my mind. I write it down on one of these pages, so I can go back to it when I have dedicated time to.
Sounds so boring .. am I RIGHT? Well, a good filing system is essential for workspace organization! Plus, productivity is so much better when you aren’t sitting among a clutter or paperwork. You can actually get some hella funky filing folders and accessories to make this once-upon-a-time mundane task quite a pleasant one. You do need to decide on a system that works for you and stick with it. For example, I keep a separate folder for receipts and payments and then split them up by month. This helps me find supporting documents when I am doing bookkeeping. A great number of my files are now saved in Google Drive and I try and minimize printing.
When you style and decorate your desk, have some items that are decorative but also functional, such as a votive for a pen holder! Ultimately, your desk should completely inspire you, think about what style you will love to see every time you’re working. What colors motivate you?
A pretty faux floral arrangement will add a pop of color and is very low cost compared to replacing the blooms regularly. Get yourself a pretty faux floral arrangement online from Gypsy Petal.
Get yourself a super-large cork board and have this as your visual inspiration (completely and utterly vital for go-getters!). The cork board also helps with the organization of invitations, business cards and reminders to mine so they don’t get lost or accidentally thrown away.
Staying hydrated is so, so important! But when you are working, you don’t want to become thirsty because your body might trick into thinking you want food. You want to maximize your productivity in your workspace! If you allow yourself to get into this spot, you may find yourself doing extra trips to the fridge which are very distracting.
Organize your time
There are two major things I suggest here, please don’t roll your eyes at the second 😉
- At the start of your day, have a brief list of the things you can actually get done or get started on that day. Be realistic and have an idea of which items you will get done in the morning verse the afternoon.
- Get track of your time! I do this the old fashioned way, writing in my journal. I even track when I make lunch, go to the gym or run errands. It’s a way to give yourself some extra accountability, stop procrastinating and stay focused on the task at hand.
For example, at the top of the page, I will write the date and date. Then I have a column on the left side of the page where I write the start and finish time:
8:30 am – 9:30 am: Writing copy for new website products
9:30 am – 10:00 am: Instagram posts on channels
10:00 am – 11:45 am Go the post office and gym
I think it’s important to track your breaks in this too, so you maximize your available time, and know when you are just fluffing about and procrastinating.
I love having something alive around, for me, this is a desk plant and a cactus or two. I tend to move things around the house, so the plants change in rotation on my desk. There are studies that show that having a plant in your workspace can reduce tension, anger, fatigue and help you become more effective. Plants have also been proved to clean the air of dust, bacteria, and mold which would otherwise have been inhaled by you.
A second chair
Late in the day, I find I can start getting restless sitting at my desk. This is a productivity killer! To mitigate this, I have a comfy lounge chair next to my desk. When I get restless I move to this chair for an hour or two to change my setting and reset. After some time, I miss my desk and how easy it is to write, so I can go back to my main workspace. Try it!
End the day right
When you are finishing up for the day, this is the best time to clean and reorganize your desk. You want it to be fresh and organized for the new day when you start, ready for you to get straight into things. You don’t want to start the day cleaning.
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