Time Management – Tips for Organizing Your Workspace

Time Managemet Neat OfficeIf you work in a home office as I do, or a small office in a small business, one of your biggest time management challenges is to create a workspace that makes you as productive as possible. How your workspace is organized can have a powerful effect on your mind and you’d be surprised how this can affect your efficiency.

There’s a commonly voiced objection to this: ‘My workspace is cluttered and disorganized but I like it that way. It works for me!’ But good time management says that when you get organized on a consistent basis, you’ll quickly see what a difference it can make. You’ll be amazed how even modest organizing gains will clear your head and make you much more productive.

Your Chair

You really need a swivel chair with wheels to let you roll around from one area of your workspace to another and the swivel gives you maximum mobility – I can easily turn from my typing position to my reading position on the swivel. Make sure that the chair is comfortable because you’re probably going to spend long hours here. And you know something… you may even occasionally sit back in your chair for some planning and consideration… and even rest your eyes for a few minutes! So all aspects of your workspace should be visually and physically comfortable so that you actually want to be there.

Your Lighting

Though I prefer more subtle light, most people need bright, adjustable lighting that’s suitable for any time of day or night and illuminates your workspace evenly – no hot spots or glare. What works best is to have a nice window nearby so that you can use your artificial lighting together with natural light from outside. I have the window, and that usually gives me enough light for most tasks. But I also have energy saving compact fluorescent desk lamps for those early or late hours.

Your Schedule

A calendar and/or whiteboard above your desk where you can easily see it keeps your daily to do’s and your overall schedule visible at all times. Your most important tasks should be written here along with motivational quotes and anything else you want to see daily… a lot of people use this for keeping their vision ideas top of mind. This board or calendar will become one of the focus points of your work area.

Kill the Clutter

You should only have things you use daily out on your desk. Everything else should be put away somewhere. Where you put it should depend on how often you need it. Many people use their desk drawers for this. As you would expect, the top drawer is for the stuff you need most, the second drawer less, and the third drawer the least. Don’t keep things that you might use on your desk. Whenever you finish something, put it away immediately and don’t tell yourself you’ll do it later. One of the tools I find handy is a wire file rack on my desk. Then I can take project folders out as I need them. The important thing is to put things away as soon as you’re done with them… it makes clean up time easier.

Clean-Up Time

Schedule straighten-up time at the end of every day. No one can stay clutter-free all the time. Make it part of your daily schedule to do a quick tidying up of your work area. You should also schedule a big cleaning as needed to dust surfaces, remove trash and vacuum. Do that, and you’ll find that it’s much easier to come into your office ready to work the next morning without the irritation of a mess greeting you as soon as you walk in the door.

Don’t Eat at Your Desk

There are two reasons why you should never eat at your desk. One is that food and drink are not compatible with computers. A large percentage of computer problems are caused by spills or food-related accidents. Another reason is that you need a strong division between work-time and break-time. When you’re taking lunch, getting away from your work area is a mind clearing activity – you’ll come back refreshed and ready for your afternoon tasks.

Ironically, you don’t want to spend too much time organizing. Some people organize and shuffle things around in order to procrastinate and put off doing other tasks they need to do. Your aim in organizing your workplace should be to create a clutter free work space because it helps you maintain a clutter free mind to concentrate on producing work that produces income for your business.


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