Whether you’re the CEO of an international company or their secretary, it’s crucial that your workplace is well-organised. After all, you can’t expect to be fully concentrated or productive if you’re constantly surrounded by mess.
To help out, I’ve prepared a comprehensive list of 10 tips on how to organise your office and yourself to significantly increase your productivity.
1. Declutter Your Desk
First things first, get rid of all the unnecessary papers and files that you’re hoarding on your desk. I guarantee once you’ve cleaned the space around you, you’ll be able to see much clearer and fully concentrate on finishing your tasks as efficiently as possible.
Although this may seem obvious, you’ve undoubtedly got a few old bills, paid invoices, takeaway menus and outdated letters lying around that could be processed and filed out of sight to reduce your desktop clutter.
2. Choose an Uplifting Colour Scheme for Your Office
Different hues can influence our mind in various ways, from raising our heart rate and blood flow, to promoting stability and creativity.
Grey, beige and white offices have been proven to induce feelings of sadness and depression, especially in women, while men can experience similarly glum feelings working in purple and orange workspaces.
For an overall sense of well-being and improved efficiency, stick to Mother Nature’s palette of greens and blues to avoid eye fatigue and laser-focus your attention on the task at hand.
3. Organise Your Digital Desktop
Despite research suggesting that computer users with messy desktops are more likely to be liberal, educated and career-minded city-dwellers who are good at math, it’s no justification for a cluttered home screen full of disused icons and obsolete files. Not only does it look unprofessional, but you’ll never be able to find what you need in a hurry.
Clean up your virtual desktop by sorting your files into appropriate folders which are clearly named so you’ll know exactly what they contain at a glance. If a folder or application shortcut doesn’t need to be on your desktop, remove the icon or store the folder under Documents instead.
4. Get an Office Plant
You’re probably thinking, “What’s a plant got to do with my productivity?” Well, it has been proven that incorporating greenery into your offie space will not only improve the quality of your air, but it can also increase productivity by up to 15%.
Low-maintenance plants that can handle minimal light and enjoy warm environments are ideal for the office. Check out these 13 Office Plants to Boost Workplace Productivity and start planning your own urban jungle.
For serious minimalists, smaller offices and those with a track record of neglect, Tillandsia and other air plants make great hanging ornaments and all they ask is a spray of water a few times a month.
5. Let there be (natural) light!
The importance of daylight is a hot topic and it’s well-documented how important natural light is for improved sleep, increased productivity and mood-boosting.
If you’re thinking about redesigning your office, consider installing a few extra windows or skylights. It may seem like a significant investment for a couple of extra rays a day, but it will pay for itself in health benefits long-term!
6. Keep Everything Important at Hand
If you want to really boost workplace productivity, it’s of utmost importance that everything you need is well-organised and all your important files, documents and useful office supplies are close at hand.
This way, you’ll spare yourself the embarrassment of shuffling through your entire desk in front of clients in order to find what you need.
7. Take Breaks
Sitting for long periods at your desk puts you at higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, depression, and obesity. Sustained focus on a single task can also hinder performance, so taking short breaks can actually renew and strengthen motivation.
Hang a small basketball hoop on your office door, hit up some ping pong, watch something ridiculous on YouTube or get out of the office for some exercise and grab a coffee.
Remember to disconnect and recharge occasionally to stay motivated and meet deadlines when you’re back at your desk.
8. Equip Your Office With the Latest Technology
Technology is constantly developing and if you consider yourself a modern business professional, you should aim to keep abreast of the latest trends. After all, these new office gadgets are designed to help you organise yourself better and work more efficiently.
9. Organise Your Desk Drawers
So far, you’ve organised your desk, files, desktop… but what about your drawers? Aren’t they the messiest part of everybody’s office?
To avoid being overwhelmed by drawer clutter, sort through them every Friday afternoon just before heading home and dispose of everything that ended up there unintentionally.
10. Reduce Meeting Times
Regular meetings have their disadvantages as well, and time-wasting is definitely one of them. Try reducing 1-hour meetings to 45 minutes and see what difference it makes to overall productivity.
Reducing a meeting by 15 minutes may seem insignificant, but on a monthly basis you could be saving yourself and your colleagues hours.
There are numerous ways to organise your office and yourself for increased productivity. Create a plan and stick to it, remembering that once you clear your desk, you’ll clear your mind as well!
Author bio: Claire Adams is a personal and professional development expert who believes that positive attitude is one of the keys to success. You can find her writing and tips about lifestyle and development on highstylife.com and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.