It’s the New Year, a time for fresh starts on personal goals, relationships, habits, finances, business, etc. Have you ever thought of giving your work environment a fresh start? It could actually help you accomplish your other goals.
Whether you work from home or in an office, your desk is where you spend the majority of your day. Shouldn’t it be an environment that’s calm, practical, useful, and enjoyable? Many of us have gotten used to working from cluttered desks, and though it gives the illusion that you’re really busy and productive, the truth is that you probably waste a lot of time looking for stuff. In addition, clutter can also cause a lot of unconscious stress.
Here are a few tips to make your desk a professional and relaxing place to work. It’s time to zen up!
- Simplify. Clear off anything you don’t use multiple times a day. Put it in a drawer or tray UNDER the desk. Yes, this includes papers, files, tape, CD’s, whatever. It’s not a big deal to pull open a drawer to get a stapler if you don’t use it all the time. The key here is simplicity. Keep the top of your desk as clean as possible, and this visual will help clear your mind.
- Hide all the wires. Bundle them together and let them hang behind the desk and out of site.
- Consolidate the mess. No post-it notes. No scattered papers. Get a cork board or dry erase board on a wall, and put all of your post-it’s and other random information there. If you have a bunch of papers, put them all in one paper tray.
- Get some green. Plants help add color and life to your space. Go to your local Target/Walmart or Home Depot and pick up a small indoor plant that’s easy to maintain.
- Make it personal. Add a picture of a loved one, a group of friends or family, or a memorable trip. Or maybe a small souvenir or sentimental item. But keep it to a minimum. This is where people tend to go overboard and have picture frames creating a wall around the edge of there desk. No more than 1 or 2.
- Add some candles. Of course, if you’re in an office building that’s not really an option. But, if you work from home, it’s a nice calming touch. Especially if your work hours go late into the night.
- Add a common theme to your design. If possible, when purchasing items for your desk, go with a common color, material, or style. For me, I like black metal. So for me my desk organizers are black metal wire mesh. My electronics (monitor, speakers, lamp) are either black or silver metal. My candle holders are black metal plates. I try to avoid plastic because it looks a little tacky. The compliment to that is is an earthy feel, so my lamp has a dried wood design, my plants are in clay pots, and I have burlap cloth coasters. Whatever your style is, whether it’s dark wood, brushed metal, glass, white plastic, bright red, etc… try to keep it consistent.
This is intended to just quickly clear up the clutter. Obviously, the next step would be to do the hard work of actually organizing the mess that you hid. Hope this is a helpful start to creating a more productive, relaxing and enjoying work place for 2012. Do you have any ideas for improving aesthetically improving your work environment? Post up links to pictures of your desk.