Messy Office, Messy Mind: Strategies To Keep You Focused

Your office space is where all the magic happens. Papers are filed, emails are sent, phone calls are made and much, much more. Over time, paperwork and other things can pile up. That sandwich you ate for lunch while you worked got all over your desk. These little messy things may not seem like much, but the messier your desk is, the more cluttered your desk is and the less focus you’ll have on your work. If your office space falls into the messy category, you need these strategies to tackle the mess and keep you focused.

Desk declutter – When you have more pens, knick knacks, posters, staplers, paperwork, etc in your field of vision on your desk, you’re going to get more distracted. Clutter drags your attention away from the task at hand and reduces your focus. Clutter also increases the chances that you lose paperwork. Even though you really like the Washington Nationals or cats, keep the decorations around your desk to a minimum. You should only keep a couple of pens and highlighters or other necessary work tools. Store the rest in your desk, then put them away again after you use them.

Organize – It’s not enough to put your things into the desk or the filing cabinet. When you put things away, make sure that every item has a home, and every piece of paperwork has an appropriate filing space. The average person loses at least one hour of time every day searching for necessary information. Additionally, lost or mishandled paperwork causes lost time as well as embarrassment and loss of payment from clients. Increasing your use of digital files will reduce paperwork on your desk and makes files easy to find. Don’t keep business cards. Scan them or add them to your contact management system right away and dispose of the clutter. Make sure to have an organized filing system so that you can find necessary paperwork right away.

Keep it clean – A full trash can, or smudges from yesterday’s lunch may not seem like they would interfere with your focus, but they really can. Empty your trash can every other day or more, or if you’ve filled it (especially if you filled it with food refuse). Use disinfectant wipes on your desk daily. Don’t forget to wipe down your keyboard, mouse and phone. It’s best to eat your lunch in a kitchen or break room. Even though you might think that working at your desk while eating increases your productivity, it doesn’t. It reduces your focus and increases the possibility that you’ll get food on important paperwork. Make sure to have disinfectant wipes close at hand. A clean space increases health, aesthetic appeal, and focus!

Once you declutter, organize, and clean your space, your focus will greatly increase. You’ll be able to find necessary paperwork more easily, increase your mood, and improve your focus on your work.