When you have too much work to do, your mind is in total chaos. You try to organize your thoughts and write a schedule that enables you to cover the tasks according to a precise timetable. That may work. However, there is something else you need to do if you want to get really productive in your work.
Have you ever thought about the way your environment influences the work you do? If you try to work in a messy living room in front of a loud TV, can you stay focused enough on the job? Your office can be just as distracting as your living room. When your desk is covered in paperwork and you can’t find the documents you need in all that mess, your mind constantly gets distracted and the effect is visible on the work you complete.
Before you can organize your thoughts, you need to organize your surroundings. Everything you see and touch affects the way you think. Try following these tips and pay attention to the way those simple actions change the way you do your job.
This is where the journey to better focus starts. Even if you have someone who cleans your office, you’re still the one who needs to get rid of the clutter. Have you checked all stuff in the drawers lately? You’ll surely find tons of useless paperwork, old pens, and other stuff you don’t need.
This step might be harder than you assume. You will need to take one area at a time and check everything you have in the office. Whenever you realize you haven’t used something in a while and you don’t intend to use it in future, throw it away or give it to someone who needs it.
Now that you got rid of the clutter, you need to categorize the items according to your own system. Put the things you most commonly use in an accessible drawer. Make sure to leave the top of the desk empty, since you don’t need anything distracting your eyes from the work. On the top of the desk, you only have space for a laptop, tablet, and the most necessary items you can’t work without.
Use the color coding system
When you have too many documents in the office, it\’s easy to get lost when looking for the one you need at the moment. No matter how hard you tried to put everything in its place after you cleaned the space, it\’s hard to find a single item in the crowd. A color coding system can really help you organize the documents and keep them neatly categorized for a long time.
For this purpose, you’ll need file pockets, hanging folders, or file folders in different colors. Categorize your documents according to type and priority, and then organize them in the colored files and folders.
Instead of reading the text on different documents when you’re searching for the right one, you’ll just recognize the color of the category it belongs to, and it will be much easier to locate it.
Did you throw away tons of pens and notebooks? Maybe you need to get new supplies, which will get you all motivated to work. Everyone loves using fancy pens, so maybe it’s time to make that small investment for your own satisfaction. When you take a beautiful pen in your hand, suddenly your handwriting gets better and you don’t need any other motivation to write.
If your laptop or tablet is old and problematic, invest in a new one. The items you use are part of the organizational system. If you love working on them, you’ll stay more focused and you’ll maintain them in proper shape. If you can’t afford making large investments, then fix the items you already own, clean them up and maintain them with great diligence.
Getting your workspace organized is hard. It may take an entire day or even longer for you to clean up the desk, throw away the things you don’t need, and get the items that are missing. Making a total mess, on the other hand, is really easy. You take the things out of those neatly organized folders, and you put everything on the desk. You’ll find yourself in the same chaos you started with in a matter of days if you don’t maintain the results you achieved!
You need to develop a habit of putting everything back in its own place. That’s important for staying focused and organized for as long as possible.
Now that you know what to do, there is no more time for wasting. Start organizing your working space and you’ll congratulate yourself once you realize how the surroundings affect the way you think and work.
August 10, 2016 at 5:56 pm
I’ve found that it saves a lot of time if I clean my workplace for a little each day (like 3 minutes). This way I don’t need to spend an hour or two once a week or month to do it all at once. I love making changes like this to improve productivity and focus!