Whether you are a business profession with a corner office or a soccer mom with a kitchen counter, everyone needs a workspace. A workspace in your home or office should be a place for you to think, organize, and accomplish the tasks before you.
Depending on the job to be done, a workspace may include a computer or a sewing machine. It may be surrounded by craft supplies, or piled with files. It might just be a family calendar, school lunch schedule, and doctor’s appointments. Whatever fills your day is part of your workspace. Here are 12 tips to a more organized workspace for whatever your job may be.
Location, location, location.
If you work in a high-rise, you might not have much choice where your office is, but if you are creating a home office space, choose a location in your home that is easy accessible. Somewhere that you can organize yourself and your day without competing for space with meal prep, kids homework, or stacks of laundry.
Start with what is important
Most workspaces need a few basic things to get started: a clean surface, a calendar, some pens, maybe a blank notebook and a trash can. A clock is also always helpful to keep near the workspace.
Add what you need.
Add those things that are essential to your workspace. For a home business, it may be a filing system or order tracking. For crafting it would the tools you use most often. If you’re constructing a home office, it may be a place for important document and papers pertaining to each member of the family.
Store what you don’t use.
There will always be things you need to keep, but you don’t need on hand. That stash of fabric, old company files, back tax returns, last years bills, last month’s immunization records. You need these things, but they don’t need to take up valuable work space, so find a place to store them away for another time.
Surround yourself with what you love.
I always have chocolate in or near my workspace, I love it, I need it, and it helps me concentrate (try it, I promise it helps). I also have some of my favorite books, a cute picture of my kids, and several mementos I’ve gathered over the years. Surrounding your workspace with things you love bring peace, clarity, and makes it more comfortable to, well, work.
Most of us don’t have space for a 10-foot table that holds everything we may or may not need, shelves above small desk are a great way to add storage for those things we need within arms reach.
Use digital resources anywhere you can. Scan in your old documents instead of keeping endless file cabinets. Use paperless billing where possible, and be very rigid about which documents must be physical. Take advantage of the automated organization of the digital world.
Keep a folder, basket, or tray of ASAP items on the top of your workspace. These are things that need to be taken care of immediately, bills to pay, projects to finish, or things that are at the top of your to-do list. This is a great way to prioritize your daily tasks.
This is particularly important for home offices. Too often, we use the kitchen counter for our home office because we don’t have anywhere else to work. That is false. You can find a corner, a hallway, a closet in nearly anyhome. You don’t need a lot of space, but it’s important to have an established area where you can sit down, think, and accomplish what is important.