Every one of you has probably experienced lack of focus and low productivity due to a messy environment. Take people like me for example. I would rather start folding, vacuuming and organising than actually sit down and get on with things. In order to maintain my mental health and focus only on my work, I have to tidy up everything and immerse myself in a work-friendly environment.
Work Zone Boundaries
If you have a home office, you should establish some clear boundaries. No matter how small the area is, there are ways of dividing it into smaller work zones for higher productivity. For example, choose an area in your home for the office; make sure it’s far from the entertainment rooms so there is no noise to distract you. Set up your desk in the middle, facing the doors and provide enough lighting. All the books and documents should be organised on the shelves or in cabinets behind your back or on the sides, so they’re always accessible. Supplies and other items you don’t need on a daily basis should be invisible both to you and your guests, so place them somewhere out of sight.
With such clear work zone boundaries, you will always be organised and you won’t lose time searching for the things you need. This will greatly reduce the stress and there will be no knick-knacks to distract you. You can easily apply the same rules at your office outside home. Just make sure you have your personal space that is dedicated to work and work alone.
Have you ever had that restless unnerving feeling when you see a bunch of papers on the desk or items just scattered around the room with no organisation at all? Well, imagine working in that environment. A clutter-free life is a stress-free life and you should apply this everywhere. Take everything you have in your office and move it out. Then slowly and carefully organise the supplies, books, papers and devices in two piles: “the ones I need” and “the ones I’m going to throw out”. After the piles have been established, the items from “the ones I need” should be brought back into the office and neatly organised into their own space.
It’s easy to get attached to certain items, such as old magazines and documents, but I’m sure you don’t need all of them at one place. At one point, my work-space was so messy and full of old stuff from ten years ago that it drove me crazy for months. Once I finally lost my mind and my productivity decreased to zero, I dedicated one whole weekend to de-cluttering my work-space. Now, it’s clean as a whistle and I plan on keeping it that way. Just for the sake of preserving my own mental health.
Schedule Cleaning Days
Clean space is a happy space. Your work zone should always be clean and dust-free. This is not because your guests may think you are messy and dirty, but because you will feel much better once everything is squeaky clean. That stain on the desk or dust on the shelves has the capacity to drive you crazy if you let them. I had so many problems with these situations because I used to occasionally eat at my desk. Big mistake! Be really careful about bringing food or drinks into your work-space. An occasional cup of coffee is okay, but make sure you do not spill anything.
To resolve my problems, I had to compromise with myself and schedule regular cleaning days once a week. You will not believe how much dust can accumulate in just seven days. Every Saturday afternoon is reserved for cleaning, dusting and getting rid of every piece of paper I don’t need. However, there are days when I just don’t have the time for cleaning and this is when I seek help. You can do the same thing and find professional help or you can cut your time in half and use a handy steam vacuum to get that work done with ease.
Organise Your Computer
Your virtual storage – the computer – should be well organised and clean as well. The first thing you want to do is make sure it’s always dust and stain free in order to avoid any major malfunctions. The second thing to do is organising all the files and folders you have in there. Make it clear which folders are for work and which are for personal stuff. Additionally, never keep outdated documents and files. That’s why we have the recycle bin. Also, make sure to keep the desktop of your computer free of jumbled pictures, documents and audio files that will drive you mad and make you lose time and patience searching for the things you need.
Many researchers have shown that the best way to reduce stress in a work-space is to give it a nice view. Studies have shown that people feel much better and relaxed when looking at a natural setting through the window instead of at the brick wall. However, if that is not possible, try and find the next best alternative – paintings. These will instantly switch the mood from stressful office into a relaxing and cosy room dedicated to work. My walls used to be plain white, but as soon as I hung a breath-taking picture of Niagara Falls, I found my work-space more pleasing.
If you ever feel stressed out for no reason and your sleeping routines are a disaster, take a look around. Any clutter, mess and dirt in your work-space are most likely the cause of your poor mental state. Be diligent and work on your bad habits. With some effort, you can create a pleasant working atmosphere and you will never feel bad again.
About the author
Marie Nieves is a student and a lifestyle blogger who loves unusual trips, gadgets and creative ideas. She is an avid lover of photography interested in interior and exterior design and regular author on several blogs. For her articles, she often consults décor specialists, home organization experts and bloggers.