Keeping Your Work Area Clean
Published on Saturday, 20 October 2012
Keeping your work area in perfect order is essential for maintaining good work flow. To put it simply - you can't do your best at a messy work station. This is why, whether you're working at home or in an office, you cannot afford to let your desk, cubicle, or office become messy. And yes, the temptation is always there, when you're buried under assignments to just let the clutter pile up, but keeping everything neat really isn't that difficult. All you need to do is clean up a little bit every day, so that nothing piles up. So here are a few suggestions on how to go about this.
1. Organize any papers on your desk. Sometimes it seems easier to leave each note or loose piece of paper in the spot where you last used them, but this approach will only make it harder on you in the long run. Why not get one or two plastic paper organizers and stack any papers that you'll need to use again in those. You could also get a few files and label them according to the separate categories you'll be organizing, like memos, schedules, assignments and emails, etc.
2. Sticky notes are a good way to create reminders for yourself, but they can create a mess. If you do use them, pick no more than two sizes or colours of notes for the different types of reminders and choose one particular spot (in your line of vision) to put them, instead of spreading them over your entire work area. Additionally, always throw away a sticky note after you've completed the task or have no further use for the reminder. This type of reminder usually is the first culprit for office clutter.
3. Additionally, you could do away with sticky notes all together. If your office policy doesn't explicitly prohibit this, or if you work at home, why not get a small, A3 or A2 size whiteboard and place it in a visible spot around your desk. This way you would be able to write down and erase reminders easily, you would cut down on your paper usage, whilst also adding a more unique touch to your work space.
4. Never eat at your desk. Once again, the temptation might be huge, but try to use your office kitchenette or go outside. Eating at your desk, even if you do throw away the packaging will only result in crumbs and pieces all over the place. This is exactly what you want to avoid. Furthermore, you should try to reserve your workspace as just that - try to get used to the idea that it should only be used for work-related tasks. This will stimulate a boost in your productivity.
5. If you absolutely cannot avoid a bit of mess around your work area, it may be a good idea to get a small, handheld vacuum cleaner, or a sweeper and paddle. These are usually not at all costly, but they can help you take care of any small messes quickly and quietly, so that you do not disturb anyone. You could even split the cost with some of your coworkers.
6. Lastly, remember to get a reusable coaster. Just as you have your own coffee mug, having your own coaster at work will make your life easier. You can simply keep it at your desk and use it whenever you want a drink. This will help you avoid having to wipe off glass and cup circles from the surface of your desk.
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