Day 4 of the Minimalist Home 30 Day Challenge will increase your productivity and reduce stress! (seems like a good deal right?)
If you work from home, it’s time you have a second look at your workspace! Did you know that having a clean and organized office can actually help with productivity and reduce stress?
“According to the National Association of Professional Organizations, paper clutter is the number 1 problem for most businesses. Studies show the average person wastes 4.3 hours per week searching for papers, which adds stress and frustration to the workplace while reducing concentration and creative thinking. The average executive loses one hour of productivity per day searching for missing information. And, according to the Small Business Administration, the biggest burden for small business is the inability to properly service customers, increase sales and improve the bottom line because of mishandled paperwork.”
When cleaning up your workspace, pull everything out of your drawers, and then assign a task to each drawer. In my office, I have 3 drawers: printer paper, office supplies, and lined paper/notebooks. If you need to, purchase a drawer organizer to keep items separate and easy to access
As my home-business is photography based (and most paperwork is done digitally), I store my other files (contracts, licences, warranties, etc) in a filing cabinet in my basement. But, Limit what you file! There are many things we don’t need to keep: user manuals (can usually be found online), expired policies, magazine articles, and tax papers that are older than 7 years.
Once you’ve pulled everything out/off, disinfect the surfaces (especially your computer mouse and keyboard!). This area can be a breeding ground for bacteria, especially if you share this space with others, and you can’t very well work if you’ve picked up an illness!
Then, take stock of the essential items you need to do your work, and get rid of unneeded supplies in your desk. You don’t really need to have 15 pens for example, but if they still work (test them!), consider buying a storage box to keep them neatly stored (on your newly organized bookshelf perhaps?) until the pens in your desk run out.
It’s also important to assess what you use in your office. If you’re always carrying an item out of the office to use elsewhere, find a new spot to store it where you’re actually using it!
If you’re like me and love indoor plants, here’s some more good news: “Indoor plants in an office can prevent fatigue during attention demanding tasks.” according to the Journal of Environmental Psychology. The benefit is similar if you have an office with a window view to nature. So, choose a few plants that work with you available light source, and place them in a spot in your office that won’t be in your way, but will be in your line of sight.
One of the biggest difficulties with keeping a decluttered workspace is maintenance. It’s true, sometimes we’re in a rush and we don’t file a paper right away, or put that pen back in the drawer. What I do before I leave and stop work for the day, is clean up the space so that it is fresh and ready to go for my next day of work.
What strategies or organizational tips do you have that help you keep a clutter-free workspace? Reply in the comments below!
See you tomorrow for Day 5!