We all know how frustrating it can be when we leave work with unfinished tasks still floating in the air. There really is nothing better than that feeling of satisfaction when you can walk away from your job knowing that you have had a productive day and mastered all of your set tasks and challenges for the day.
Quite often the reason for seeing a drop in our productivity can be down to something as simple as being distracted by social media or email messages, or even having a cluttered desk or work area where it becomes almost impossible to locate something that you need to compete an outstanding task.
It can be a great boost to our motivation when we can organise our workspace to easily grab the things we need and reduce the distractions that can often delay the finishing off of a task.
Lets take a look at some very handy tips for making our workspaces more organised and clutter-free so that we can operate more smoothly with less distractions and disruptions to our routines:
Have a de-clutter session
It is amazing just how much clutter can build up on our work desks in a very short amount of time. We often dump things on our desks with the best intentions of dealing with it later, but then fail at actually getting around to sorting it out.
A cluttered desk can have a heavy influence on the way you work, even affecting the ergonomic way in which you function where you are working around the clutter rather than clearing it away so you can work more efficiently and comfortably.
According to research conducted by Princeton University Neuroscience Institute, having a cluttered workspace actually restricts the brain’s ability to focus and process information. By simply clearing away the spare water bottles, sticky drink cans, empty coffee mugs, post-it notes, old files and reports from completed tasks, you can give your brain a boost and allow it to focus on the job in hand instead of all the distracting clutter.
If you don’t have any filing cabinets, then purchasing a few storage boxes for your paperwork will help to keep it all together and out of sight. Recycle old paperwork, flyers, magazines and newsletters that you have read and no longer need. Dispose of any unnecessary items on your desk and reduce the number of personal items that can also distract you. Having lots of lovely pictures of your family or beloved dog or cat can be very distracting, and can often lead your mind off into a wonderful daydream instead of focussing on your work. Stick to just one or two treasured family photo’s.
Most workplaces are becoming paper-free these days, so take a look at your work processes and procedures that are still paper-based to see if it is possible to go digital. This not only saves a lot of money on resources such as printed paper and ink, but also means less visible clutter left on your desk that needs sorting out.
Keep a handy recycling bin next to your desk for easy disposal of spent paper documents that are not sensitive in nature. Check that your office has secure, lockable paper disposal bins in place that makes it easier to dispose of paperwork of a sensitive nature. Many companies hire secure paper shredding services to regularly collect confidential waste for secure on-site or offsite shredding. If your company doesn’t do this, then it would be worth asking for this to be adopted. It makes keeping your workplace clutter-free much easier.
Make use of quiet spaces
Depending on your workplace setup and layout, you may be working in an open-plan office or working area. This type of layout has long been encouraged by companies wishing to break down walls and barriers between workers and management. Open plan workspaces make communication and collaboration much easier. The only problem with this is that it can also seriously dent your productivity – studies show that productivity can be reduced by up to a third through working in an open plan office compared to when you have your own office to work in.
Most workplaces offer an environment that includes rest areas and coffee hubs, so if you find you are constantly being interrupted by well-meaning work colleagues, see if you can take advantage of a quiet room or area away from the main workplace to enable you to get more work done in peace.
If your workplace layout doesn’t offer any quiet space, then make a suggestion to your management that an area be sectioned off to be used for when people need to focus without interruption. This can be good for your productivity, but also for work relationships too as anyone using the space will be signalling that they do not want to be disturbed, and colleagues will know not to bother them.
Hopefully, adopting some of these practices will help you to increase your productivity levels and none of them are too difficult to do.