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Work Productivity and Hacks

5 Steps to Decluttering Your Workspace

By Stephanie Cancio on April 4, 2015

How many times have you spent at least five minutes looking around your workspace for that one document? Or how many times did your mind wander off while working because of all the clutter? Increase your productivity by organizing your workspace. Here is a list of five simple steps to get you started:

1. Sort all of your files.

If you haven’t cleaned your desk in a while then it is highly probable that there are stacks of unorganized papers piling up on your desk. Go over your files and separate them into different stacks based on category, urgency, or how often you will need to take a look at them. Afterwards, put these in folders and then in a file case. Avoid burying the files you regularly need under a pile of other files so that you can access them easily when you need them.

2. Throw what needs to be thrown.

It’s about time you threw out those old post its, papers you don’t need, old envelopes you were saving (let’s face it, you don’t need that many envelopes), and other unnecessary brochures and documents. You can also declutter your workspace by scanning other documents and storing them digitally.

3. Give everything a proper place.

Use organizer trays and cable organizers to keep everything in its proper place. Make it a discipline to return things to their proper and assigned place so you don’t have a hard time looking for things when you need them. Utilize your drawers as well to keep your desk looking tidy. Take note however, that just because these are somewhat hidden, it doesn’t mean you have an excuse not to keep these organized as well. Apply the rules you have for your desk to your desk drawers, so you don't end up with big boxes of unorganized junk.

4. Stick to the essentials.

Keep only what belongs on your desk. Those magazines aren’t essential to your job (well, depending on what your industry is) and neither are those old Christmas presents from officemates that you still haven’t brought home. Remove as much as you can from your workspace if none of these are essential to your everyday tasks.

5. Have good habits moving forward.

At the end of each workday, organize your desk again and follow steps 1-4 to make sure that the mess doesn’t build up. If this is too tedious, you may also set a cleaning day every week. Don’t let all the hard work you put into organizing your table go to waste!

One last thing, now that you have a clean and organized space and you’re all set to accomplish all of your tasks, remember to take a breather every now and then. You can stick one photo on your wall of your family or your favorite beach to stare at when work gets to be a little too much.

Now, you’re good to go. Congratulations on your new and organized workspace! It’s time to get back to work!

Photo Credit: eclecticlibrarian via Compfight cc

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