There are numerous businesses geared towards helping people improve their productivity, especially at the workplace. One common rule among the thousands of articles online to the many videos regarding productivity is to declutter workspace.
Believe it or not, a cluttered space does a lot more damage than you can imagine. Your surroundings influence your behaviour, mood, and even cognition. It is no wonder that multinational corporations invest millions in constructing clean, smart, and efficient workspaces and home office.
Benefits of a Clean Workspace
Improved productivity and focus are the main benefits of maintaining a clean workstation. A decluttered space eliminates distractions and does not disrupt the flow of your work. It allows you to finish your tasks quickly and more efficiently. Besides this, cleanliness is the most important factor in creating a soothing environment. A cluttered desk represents a cluttered mind. On the other hand, a spotless area reduces anxiety and helps you think more clearly.
Solving Problems Related to a Cluttered Workspace
If you have a messy desk, it is time to understand the problems that come with it and the tricks you can learn to declutter workspace and improve your life.
Loss of Time and Items
A quick search on the net will show you tons of research dedicated to time management. It is interesting to note that individuals lose a considerable amount of hours per week simply searching for items. Whether it is some stationery, folders, or just a notepad, a desk filled to the brim will always leave you searching for things. This reduces productivity, increases stress, and can even put you in a foul mood.
The solution: Focus on Essentials
Visualise a regular workday and note down all the items that you use daily. For example, you need your computer, charger, water bottle, etc. Finally, clear your desk entirely and keep only your required items on the desk. This tip will save you loads of time and will keep the momentum of your work going without any distractions.
Productivity experts, like David Allen, claim that an unorganised desk always captures your attention without you even realising! A harmless coffee mug or a pile of books may distract you only briefly. Yet, in the process, it keeps draining your energy and makes you lose focus. This loss of focus usually stops you from working and the instant gratification from doing something else takes over. Many times, we even use the excuse to clean up our desk-space as a form of procrastination.
The Solution: Avoid Clutter Buildup
Even if your desk has only essentials, this does not guarantee a clutter-free desk throughout the day. A coffee or snack break may lead to empty mugs and bowls piling up on the desk. This small pile leads to bigger piles of clutter over time.
So, simply clear your workspace at the end of each day. An organised start to your workday improves focus and helps you process information efficiently.
Using Your Workspace as a To-do List
You may think that you only have essentials on your desk. However, surprisingly, there is a tendency to keep things that you need to complete later on the desk. These include several projects to be completed in the week or a book you need to read. Without realising it, these items and things-to-do keep growing and leave you feeling overwhelmed.
The Solution: Follow a 10-Minute Morning Routine
Before you start your workday, take 10 minutes to decide what needs to be done for that day so you can declutter workspace accordingly. If you need to finish one project, keep materials on your desk related to only that project. This will reduce the anxiety of the many tasks looming ahead. It also helps you get work done more efficiently.
Feeling Stressed Out
The human brain seeks out an order in patterns and events. This also means that our brains prefer a clean, organised desk. Research indicates that workspace clutter elevates feelings of exhaustion, which leads to poor decision making.
The Solution: Organise with Boxes
A great decluttering method is using boxes to keep different items and label them accordingly. For example, label one box as ‘art supplies’ if you work in a creative field or keep a box for current projects, journals, miscellaneous items, etc. This way, you can reach for things you need without wasting much time.
Lack of Motivation and Creativity
This is a no-brainer. The sight of a huge pile of stuff on your desk is enough to de-motivate you before you even begin your work. A messy space over some time can even lead to other psychological problems.
The Solution: Keep it Minimal and Inspiring
Minimalistic spaces are soothing and can help motivate you. However, a very dull space can also reduce creativity. So, it is fine to add a few inspiring items. It could be aesthetic stationery holders, a potted home office plant, a lamp, etc. As long as you do not go overboard, a few desk décor items can brighten your space and mood.
Clutter in the form of empty dishes, food wrappers, mugs, etc. leads to a smelly and unhygienic space. These things hamper your health and also attract germs and bugs.
The Solution: No Snacking at the Workspace
Eating away from your workstation will keep your desk cleaner. Moreover, it also helps you focus on your meal and gives you a break from stressful projects. The habit helps to improve eating habits.
Negative Impressions of Unprofessionalism
It’s a well-known fact that an individual’s space says a lot about the person. A cluttered workspace communicates a lack of responsibility, seriousness, and poor work ethic. It could lead to seniors forming a negative impression about you.
The Solution: Schedule a Day for Cleaning
Based on your timetable, select a specific day in the week to regularly clean your space. If you are done with one project, keep related items away and move on to the next one.
Just like the well-known saying, ‘out of sight, out of mind,’ declutter workspace so that you can keep distractions away and make the most of each day. Space-saving interiors and modular furnishings like the selection provided by HomeLane, are just what you need to create your dream workspace. A small revamp of your interiors will go a long way in helping you stay organised. So, get to work and take the first step towards accomplishing your goals!