Revamp Your Workspace for Productivity with These Organization Hacks

Use these tips to create the best workspace for you

Hanna Kim - January 4, 2019

After the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it can be hard to get back to work feeling focused. One way to help you get back up and running is by organizing your office so it can meet your needs. Set your office space up for success with these tips for creating a productive work environment.

Purge Clutter

Psychology research supports the metaphor of clean space for a clear mind. A 2011 study published in The Journal of Neuroscience found that people have more difficulty concentrating on a task when there is clutter. The visual cortex, which receives and processes sensory nerve information from your eyes can get overwhelmed when there are too many irrelevant objects around. Clutter can make it harder for someone to focus and perform a task efficiently.

Depending on the size of your office or cubicle and last deep cleaning, it may take a few hours or a few days to begin organizing your office. Apply this trick for cleaning out your office space if you’re the type of person who has trouble letting go of your belongings: Find 5 unnecessary items each week to either throw out, recycle or donate. Feel free to start small with items like an annoying pen that always writes streaky. Parsing out an unpleasant task into smaller pieces can make it more manageable if you’re feeling overwhelmed by how much there is to do.

Clean Up Your Computer

Since so much work is done on electronically these days, it’s important to declutter your online workspace too. Delete old files you definitely don’t need and create annual archives or folders for documents you may need to reference occasionally in the future. Deleting cookies on your web browser also helps save space on your computer. Check out Kim Komando’s guide to deleting cookies for some popular browsers.

Keep your browser tabs open to a minimum; it slows your computer down as well as creates room for more diversion from your work. Internet restriction apps can help you from lurking around social media and news sites that are easy distractions.

Specify Parking Designations for Your Supplies

Having a set place for your office supplies can help you stay organized as you go about your tasks each week. Figure out what supplies you use daily and need to keep on your desk. Things you only need a few times a week should be stored in drawers or cabinets.

Make sure to have trash and recycling near your desk to prevent junk from piling up. Instead of having to run to the other side of the room or end of the hall with a months’ worth of junk mail and memos, you can keep your space clutter-free. Plan to shred any confidential documents on a regular basis by adding it as a recurring task on your to-do list as well.

Keep Proper Body Mechanics in Mind

How you sit each day can affect your productivity at work. Improper body mechanics can cause problems both in the short term and long term. 80% of Americans experience back pain at some point in their lives, commonly after a long day of sitting at work. It’s hard not to slump into your seat, shoulders rounding further in and head drifting closer to your monitor or documents as your body fatigues. In the long term, these poor postural habits can negatively affect the curvature of your spine with issues like a hunched back, forward hip tilt, and forward head posture more recently known as “text neck.”

Regularly attending yoga classes can help you familiarize yourself with where you hold your body in space so that you are more aware of when you stop practicing proper body mechanics at work. Good posture and ergonomically placed office equipment can help you feel less bodily pain so you can be more productive.

Have a happy and productive start to the new year!

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