With all the distractions around us - the box of donuts in the break room, your talkative coworker, that friend who texts you cat photos - the last thing you need is a workspace that stresses you out, diverts your attention, or otherwise compromises your focus.
If you struggle with staying on task, our article 10 Keys to Organizing Your Desk for Productivity offers tips to help create order from the chaos.
And, to keep you engaged while working, we’ve assembled the following suggestions. These are meant to minimize distractions and stress while completing high-intensity projects that require undivided attention:
1. Stock Up
You’re preparing sales reports for the executive board meeting only to find you ran out of binder clips. This forces you to stop what you’re doing and walk across the building to the office supply cabinet. Someone you pass in the hall wants to talk about next month’s trade show, turning your 2-minute trip into 20 minutes of lost productivity.
To avoid this, keep on hand an adequate amount of whatever office supplies you routinely need, such as staples, tape, paper clips, sticky notes, etc. If you know you’ll need extra for a specific project, round them up before you begin.
2. Place Everything within Easy Reach
Having to fish for something in the back of a drawer, pull something down from the top shelf, or crawl under your desk to drag out a box isn’t the end of the world, but as a regular occurrence can really be annoying.
Instead, identify your commonly needed items and place them within an easy grab. There’s a health benefit too, particularly with heavier items (such as a book, a binder, or a ream of paper). How? According to The Spine Institute and the Colorado Comprehensive Spine Institute, having to reach for objects in a way that puts you at an awkward angle and compromises body mechanics can put stress on your spine and cause pain.
3. Don’t Hide Things from Yourself
The labels that come with hanging file folders aren’t just for decoration. If a document is worth a hanging file folder, it’s worth a few extra moments to write out a label (making it much easier to locate in the future). If you lost the labels, taping a sticky note to the top of the file (so it sticks out) can substitute in a pinch.
As a side note, if your documents are piled high on your desk, treat yourself to a bookcase on wheels. It clears up clutter and provides a convenient way to organize.
4. Optimize for Workflow
A neat desk is only half the battle. You also need items to be logically arranged. What do we mean? If you’re right-handed, don’t put the phone on the left-hand side, causing the cord to stretch across your desk. Similarly, it likely makes sense to put your notepad where it’s easy to write on and to place a pen tray right next to it. If you have an “inbox” and an “outbox” for paperwork, arrange them to accommodate the natural way you work (left to right or right to left). Ultimately, little tweaks can make a big difference in terms of efficiency.
5. Choose Accessories that Enhance Efficiency
As we touched on in 10 Keys to Organizing Your Desk for Productivity, clearing up clutter will not only offer a calming effect but will give you room to spread out documents, write notes, sketch out ideas, etc.
In addition to tidying up, a lot can be done with some thoughtfully chosen accessories. Here are some examples:
- Monitor mounts lift your screen(s) off your desk surface, freeing up valuable desk space.
- Keyboard trays and mouse trays place your keyboard and mouse beneath the desktop surface, enhancing ergonomics, and freeing up desktop space.
- Cable management solutions and power strips tidy up tangles of cable, which is aesthetically more attractive and keeps cords out of the way.
- Pencil drawers offer a convenient place to stash commonly used items.
5. Minimize Visual Distractions
You love your open office concept because it enhances communication and collaboration. But sometimes it’s hard to get things done when you see things out of the corner of your eye. Or, maybe having people come up behind you is unsettling.
Some easy solutions can be installing privacy panels on your desk, turning your desk away from high traffic areas like doors, and installing a mirror so you can see if someone is walking up.
6. Reduce Audible Distractions
This is a matter of personal preference. Some people are okay with noise and chatter around them. Others can play music in headphones, while some need complete silence. Fortunately, high-tech solutions like noise canceling headphones are readily available, as are basic solutions like picking up a box of earplugs from the corner drug store.
Stand Up Desk Store: Your Productivity Headquarters
In addition to offering the best in standing desk converters and adjustable height desks, Stand Up Desk Store is your source for high-quality and effective office accessories. Choose from our wide selection of power supply cables, cable trays, privacy panels, monitor arms, pencil drawers, keyboard and mouse trays, and our new mobile filing cabinet. These items are certain to deliver a more attractive, relaxing, and efficient workspace.