Whether the desk you work at is at home, in an office or even a cubicle, it’s important to remember that the cleanliness and disorder of your desk can greatly impact your productivity at that workspace. If you’re like me, sitting down to get work done isn’t possible without the right state of mind and your desk’s state influences that. Sure, you can still get to work or catch up on emails, but follow these simple tips and your productivity can vastly improve.
Your bed should be for sleeping. While it might seem like an old adage, it’s one that many people don’t take seriously. Sleep cleaning helps condition your mind and your body to only associate your bed with sleep. Like many people, I like to bring my laptop to bed. It’s comfortable and unlike my desk chair, I can prop pillows behind my back. This is a huge problem and a terrible habit. It can not only impact productivity, but can create destructive sleeping habits. Your body will start to connect working on a laptop or smartphone to when you get in bed rather than actual sleeping.
To properly sleep clean, take all and any work, including electronics, out of your bed and to your workspace or another area.
Clean Your Desk
Cleaning your desk might seem like a simple, mundane chore, especially if you get into the mindset of “oh, well it’ll just get messy again if I clean it.” Even if that’s true, take fifteen minutes out of your day to sort any loose papers and organize them into their respective folders or binders, put away any wandering office supplies and even clean out your desk’s drawers.
Simply spring clean every now and then. A clean desk makes for a clean mind. Sitting down to work at a cluttered desk with breadcrumbs from yesterday’s lunch won’t put you in the “I’m going to get work done!” mindset.
Keep off of Social Media
Unless your job or research requires you to be on any social media platforms, you shouldn’t be checking your Facebook notifications or posting to Twitter; that should all be done during your free or off time. Technology is a great tool to reach out to others, network or conduct research for projects, but it shouldn’t be a distraction while you are working.
Continuously checking your social media platforms on your laptop or smartphone is a sign of escapism, of distraction, and it means you aren’t giving your task at hand the attention it deserves.
Make a Playlist
Listening to music while you work can be a great source of inspiration or a great accompaniment to the work you are producing. Whether you like to listen to instrumentals, your favorite films’ original scores or today’s top 40, create a playlist for your hearing pleasure or save one.
Music streaming services like Spotify or Pandora allow users to curate their own life soundtracks. Listening to music will help time go by faster and it’s always pleasant to hear music you enjoy while doing work, which isn’t always enjoyable.
Set Aside Time to Actually Work
Saying that you’re going to sit down and do work doesn’t actually mean you’re doing work. Be active. Set some time out of your day to catch up on emails, conduct research for clients or for projects, write a blog post or speak with colleagues about the work and projects that lie ahead.
Being able to schedule a set time will give you more power. You will find it in yourself to say “no” to other tasks, allowing you to concentrate on the work at hand without the unnecessary distraction of multi-tasking because your work time will be just that, work time.
Graphic by Brittany Stanfield