Have you ever pondered the question, why it is easier and more productive to operate in some work spaces than other? Or even why it is some prefer to work outside the house altogether? Environments can positively or adversely affect one's ability to get things done.
How much time is wasted looking for a pen that actually writes, a needed file or a simple notepad. Messy and disorganized environs requires constant searching for things you reach for all day long, taking your mind off track, losing valuable creative time and draining your energy for productivity. A well organized work space can revolutionize work performance, as well as, output and production. The psychology of work space design was discussed in an article posted by Psychology Today:
... suggesting that it was certainly possible to affect behavior by manipulating the size and shapes of our spaces, and that it seemed reasonable to suppose that a savvy designer could use walls, windows, and furniture to change how we worked.
Whether you are setting -up a home office or a collaborative space in a workplace, to start, consider the best ways to de-clutter. The best way to begin creating anything is with a blank canvas, a clean slate.
Clear the desktop of papers, refuse and anything that is in the wrong place. Decide what needs to go and what needs to stay. For this, gather four to six boxes or bins, each one labeled: throw away, move to another room, keep and papers-to-be-filed. To begin your project, just sort papers and other items. Don't worry about where they go just yet.
After about an hour's honest effort, your work should reveal a cleared space that can now be dusted and wiped-clean. Taking your time to consider each paper on your desk will reveal that most will need to be thrown away. Workspaces are notorious collecting stations. Mail is the worst offender; we stack it up, intending to go through it, but rarely do. It piles-up and becomes a great percentage of the clutter that is accumulated. The items that are in the "mislocated" bin can be relocated to a more appropriate room.
The mail and papers that are remaining should be organized into a filing system that will work for you and a mail station created. One mistake often made is keeping papers unnecessarily.
What to Keep
- Tax documents must be retained for seven (7) years.
- Bills and bank records do not need to be filed; these can be obtained electronically.
One big problem in many households is creating a solution for the mountain of papers that come home from school. Here's one solution that may work for you. Select a box, accordian folder or flex-file. Label it with each of your children's names and store papers for one month, then purge the files.
As soon as, mail comes in, open it right away and discard trash, fillers and ads right then and there. If you can't file mail immediately, then stash it in an 8.5" x 11" basket or bin for filing later. Set a definite time of day each day to sort and deal with mail so that it doesn't build-up.
Identify items that do not have a place, decide what to do with them and create a space for them. Don't allow bills, letters and papers to pile-up. It's much simpler to maintain order as you go along then to wade through an ocean of papers. Poor home office decor feels overwhelming; the visual clutter is what blocks your ability to think clearly and to be productive in your home office or work space.
Work consumes so much of our 24-hour day, either through actual work time or thinking and researching hours spent. Since so much energy is expended in these interiors, it should be a space in which you are inspired, spaces in which you desire to languish. Once you've cleaned, tidied-up, then add some interest. Surround yourself with color, art, quotes and pictures/posters that will invite you, inspire you. Create a motivating mood with lighting.
Don't overlook the aestetics of the office area. It should be light enough without being glaring; it should be airy enough without being cold or drafty and it should be accessible to family of office interlopers without being distracting.
Take some time to consider your needs, the time of day you will inhabit your space and make it a daily place you'll enjoy being at your desk.