Ask Erin: CREATING A PRODUCTIVE WORKSPACE
by Erin Sharplin Love
Surprisingly, having an inadequate workspace can affect you personally, emotionally and financially. Rather, it should be a place where you enjoy spending your time, and it should be organized and productive. If your workspace doesn’t inspire and motivate you to create the best work in an efficient manner, stay tuned. My tips below should help!
Begin by decluttering.
In the end, you want your workspace to be clean and clutter free, so always begin by removing anything that doesn’t serve a specific, work-related purpose. Some items will be trash, while other items will simply need to be relocated. The clearer our desks; the clearer our brains.
Create smart storage.
Take note of all the ways you could possibly store and organize your things. Maybe you could add shelving to the walls surrounding your desk, for instance. I like to keep floors clear, but that doesn’t mean you couldn’t add a stylish filing cube of some sort. I also suggest sticking to one color scheme when purchasing organizing products, such as baskets, bins, filing racks, etc. Although bright colors can promote happiness and alertness, too many colors can distract. Finally, I always utilize labels in a productive workspace.
Prevent piles of mail from accumulating.
Flat surfaces tend to attract stacks of paper, so don’t let that happen by going vertical! In other words, use some stackable trays or hang baskets vertically on an empty wall to sort through mail. As soon as mail comes into your home, categorize it by the action that needs to be taken, such as bills that need to be paid, invitations that need responses, etc.
Keep supplies at your fingertips.
Make sure you can find a pencil, pen, eraser, paper clip or any other item in a moment’s notice. There is nothing more frustrating than having to dig through a bottomless and unorganized drawer. Instead, use clear, plastic containers to categorize each item, and keep your drawers neat and organized.
Wrangle the myriad of cords!
An office can accumulate an unbelievable array of cords and wires, so take the time to sort through them all and get rid of any cords that you no longer need. Then neatly wrap and label each cord according to use. There are several ways to organize cords, but my favorite (and the least expensive) is to cut a toilet paper tube in half, cover with washi tape and slip the cords inside. You can then use a marker to label each roll or you could use a label maker. Another easy way to wrangle your cords is to wrap them in reusable Velcro ties.
Finally, you must make your area inviting and beautiful so you will want to spend time there.
Below are a few of the ways I style a workspace:
1. Add pictures and art to the surrounding walls and/or desktop. When you are pondering something and staring off into space, it will help to have something positive surrounding you.
2. Employ a corkboard to serve as an inspiration board! This might be one of the most important things you can add to your workspace. After all, if you can dream it, it can happen!
3. Greenery always livens up an area, and it will help clear the air of toxins. However, if you don’t have a green thumb, a faux plant will suffice.
4. Make sure your chair is comfortable! Add pillows and a throw blanket for when you get a chill.
5. Add an alternative light source, such as a lamp or desk light. Not only are they beneficial for completing necessary paperwork, they also add a bit of ambiance to the space.
6. Don’t forget to add your favorite candle to complete the space. Watching the flicker of a flame can be relaxing.
Once you complete these tips for creating a productive workspace, I can guarantee that you will work better because of the neatness and functionality. I hope you’ve enjoyed these tips!