By Julie Morgenstern
When the world around us is hectic and chaotic, the one thing we can still control is our space. Nothing feels better than an office that supports you, calms you, and puts you in the position to capitalize on every opportunity that comes your way. One of the biggest obstacles to organizing is not knowing where to start. While you may be tempted to tackle everything at once, it helps to start with your desktop—it’s tangible, accessible, and doable in a few hours. Taking control of your workspace frees up time and reduces stress, and will equip you to navigate the high pressured environment outside your door.
Here are 4 keys to creating a workspace that helps you perform at peak:
- Keep core info within arm’s reach. Place your most frequently used files, binders, and items within an arm’s reach from where you sit. This will save time when you are retrieving items to reference, and it makes putting items back in their home a snap. If you need a high volume of information at your fingertips, a Desktop Carousel allows you to store up to 40 binders at your desk, without any clutter. A Binder Stand can keep the active reference materials visible, without getting lost on your desk.
- Color Code. Humans process color much faster than text, (some sources say 60,000 x faster!) and color stimulates your thinking. Identify 3-5 broad categories that reflect the core responsibilities, and assign a different color to each. Apply that color coding to your files, binders and calendar to speed processing, using colored binders, index tabs, or boxfiles.
- Create a Desktop Paper Flow system. Reduces the time spent shuffling through miscellaneous piles to figure out what you want to tackle next. Use Letter Trays or Wooden Desktop Organizers to create a series of IN and OUT boxes—Sub-divided by routine function—to reflect the flow of information across your desk. IN boxes could be “Approve” “Write” “Read”; OUT Boxes could be by supervisor or direct report you need to discuss items with.
- Organize the drawers. Organizing is not just for what other people see, it supports how we feel about our workspaces. Use drawer dividers to create order from the inside out. It’s like a little gift to yourself when you open a drawer and can quickly get your hands on the perfect pen, pencil or binder clip.
Investing a few hours to conquer your workspace will pay huge dividends in time, energy and productivity. When work gets crazy and priorities get confused, a glance at your very environment will help keep you focused on your values and goals, and what needs to be done.