Advice from nine design, functional, and organizational experts on making your space work for you
If your job requires you to sit at an office, you may spend more waking hours in this office every day than you do in your home (or in any other part of your home, if this is where you work). If you love your business, this may not look like a bad thing, but it’s still worth increasing your little space to maximize your productivity.
We’ve asked design and productivity experts to advise on how best to structure, organize, and decorate your office to create a workspace to serve you that keeps you on mission and makes you feel good about what you do.
Focus on the job
Make it simple and practical with the items you use the whole time. My desktop should include a stapler; jar of pens, pencils and highlighters; candle; and most importantly, my planner. My life is on a daily planner, so doing it next to me while I work ensures that I stay on the job and plan accordingly when responding to emails. It also has all my errands and papers right inside.
Megan Meredith, life coach and home organizer; Atlanta, Georgia
Practice its simplicity
Having a clear space can help you avoid fatigue. If you have a lot of clutter on your desk, it creates a lot of stimuli for your mind to constantly respond and respond to them. Likewise, if you have a lot of things in your space that you have to move around and move around in, you will likely feel upset and spend more time finding the things you need. Be intentional and selective about what goes where. If you have a lot of decors to love, consider switching them weekly instead of trying to put them in your desk once.
Sarah Stickler, Productive Expert
Organize based on how you work and think
How your office should be prepared depends on your job and reflects the flow of your ideas and materials. If you are a linear thinker or a person working according to task categories (prospecting, billing, and brainstorming), you might prefer separating papers and other items based on writing. If you are a web thinker or work based on clients or projects, organize your office in this way, with a profile or profile assigned to each of these clients or projects. It all depends – do you want to focus on the process or project? Adjust your workspace accordingly.
Stever Robbins, Get-It-Done Guy Executive Director and Host; Cambridge, Massachusetts
Chaos is not evil during the project, but it is definitely not necessary all the time.
Bring your values to the fore
One thing I’ve always found useful and I have suggested to many customers throughout my years is to put a reminder of your values in the foreground and center, whether it’s using the Post-it Note feature, a printout or a computer wallpaper. This way, when you feel overwhelmed and need to decide what to treat next, you can use these values to help you decide what to do. For example, if you appreciate flexibility and don’t have it recently, it’s time to slightly redefine your priorities until you remember to respect what matters to you. It’s really easy to get drifted into work and spend time on less important things.
Kelly Paulson, Life and Career Coach; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Use multiple screens to keep you on track
One thing that I find provides a huge advantage is the use of dual screens or very large screens. With the increasing demand for working in multiple applications simultaneously, having dual displays allows this to happen and helps increase workflow efficiency by making data exchange between applications easy.
Tristan Leefield, Professional Coach; Detroit, Michigan
Studies have shown that plants enhance what we feel in our indoor environments. Some research suggests that being near plants can reduce stress, reduce anger, and contribute to well-being.
Amanda Amato, Interior Designer; Bompton Lakes, New Jersey
Typically adapt “Desktop Zero”
Chaos is not evil during the project, but it is definitely not necessary all the time. That’s why I adopted the “zero desktop” practice, just like the zero email inbox: at the end of the task or project, I erased my desktop with everything I didn’t need to sit on. This keeps my desk clean most of the time but it allows me to be very messy when I’m deep in the middle of something important.
Jeff Sanders, author of “Leisure Time”, 5 AM. Miracle: Nashville, Tennessee
Put your goals in sight
Your workspace should take responsibility and inspire you. I love having a yearly vision board above my desk, as well as specific 30, 60, and 90 day goals posted on the wall for my life and work. I also like positive affirmations, inspirational quotes, photographs and fun banners.
Danise Sumner, Busy Bee Productivity Coaching Owner, Richmond, Virginia
Viewing pictures feels good
Bringing non-work items to your workplace with photos can serve as a reminder that life is about work. And if you have pictures on the wall of an experience – whether it’s a trip to a beautiful national park or the roller coaster that you went to with your child’s best friend – then you decorate your space with joyful memories. When your mood is better, you must have a more positive outlook.
Abe Wolfe, Professional Trainer; Portland, Maine