How to Make Your Office Inviting and Productive
I love my home office, but I have had clients who did not even want to step foot in theirs. It did not start off that way but over time their office area spiraled out of control. Every time they looked at the office, they felt stress and overwhelm. They would pull what they needed from the office and work somewhere else in the house.
So how do you make that office area go from undesirable and unproductive to desirable and efficient?
1. Clear the clutter! And I mean all of it. Clutter left on the desk, on the filing cabinet, on bookcases, on furniture, on the floor all are distractions that are counterproductive. If you leave any clutter lying around it only seems to multiply. Tackle one area at a time and decide where everything should go. Is it now trash, something that needs shredding or filing, or something that just needs to go to another room? Make those decisions and then act on them.
2. Zone out your office. Consider your desk zone 1. Only have in or on your desk the things you use daily or at least weekly. Surfaces nearby like bookcases or cabinets are zone 2. This is where you store items you use at least monthly. Zone 3 may be in your office or somewhere else in your home. This is where you store extra supplies or items that you may only use once or twice a year. Zone 4 should not be taking up space in your office. It might be in the top of a closet or in your attic. This is where you store your archival paperwork.
3. Invest in good lighting. I work in my office at various times of the day. So daytime or nighttime I want good lighting without harshness. I used to have a desk lamp but wanted more desk space so invested in a couple of spot lights in the ceiling above my desk.
4. Decorate with things you love. Some meaningful art on your wall can inspire and invite you to settle into your office. Some item you picked up on a wonderful vacation or a meaningful item from a friend can be uplifting. Have things that make you smile. However, do not over decorate. Then you have visual clutter.
5. Consider making a vision board. I love my vision board and I revisit it every year. It motivates me and helps me set my intention. I feel it makes me more productive.
6. Keep your office clean. Not only keep the desk, other surfaces, and floor clear of clutter but also keep your entire office clean. Set up a maintenance schedule for dusting and sweeping. Once a year schedule a deep clean where you clean windows, vents, wipe down walls, etc.
7. Bring nature inside. Bringing plants inside your office space can reduce stress and increase creativity and productivity. Not only do I have plants and cut flowers in my office, but I also have a small fountain. The sound of the running water is soothing. I am also lucky to have windows that look out over the front yard where I have a birdfeeder.
If your office space is a complete disaster or just needs a little tweaking, develop a plan now to make it the perfect workplace for you. You will notice that your productivity increases and your stress decreases.
If you want help or just some accountability in working your plan join Diane Quintana and me on our Clear Space For You clutter support group.
Jonda S. Beattie, Professional Organizer owner of Time Space Organization, and co-owner of Release, Repurpose, Reorganize. She is based in the Metro-Atlanta area. As presenter, author of four books as well as a retired special education teacher she uses her listening skills, problem solving skills, knowledge of different learning techniques, ADHD specialty, and paper management skills to help clients tackle the toughest organizational issues. Jonda does hands on organizing, virtual organizing. For more of Jonda’s tips connect with her on Facebook.