Stressed Out? Overwhelmed by Clutter?
Do you feel stressed and overwhelmed when you sit down to work in your home office? Do you find yourself searching thorough piles of paper or rummaging through drawers just to find the supplies you need to perform the most basic tasks?
If so, it's time to step back, take a deep breath, and put your home office in order so you can concentrate on working when you're in your work space.
Maximize Workspace Efficiency
Take a hard look at how your office is arranged and put your organizational skills to work setting it up to maximize efficiency.
Consider the principles that are used when designing a kitchen. The refrigerator, sink, countertop, and stove are generally located so they can be easily reached from a single location, because the act of cooking requires moving back and forth among these four spots. Put the same concept to work in your home office, taking steps to ensure that the items you use the most often are easily accessible most of the time. For example:
- Place the telephone where you can reach it easily from your computer.
- Store extra paper where you can easily reach it from the printer, fax, and copy machines.
- Keep outgoing mail in a container by the door so that you will be more likely to remember to pick it up when you are on your way out of the office.
- Place books and binders that you will use frequently on the bookshelves in your office at eye level.
- Store items that you don't expect to use very often on the highest and lowest shelves
- Don't allow stacks of paper to build up on your work surfaces.
Think about what you do each day and arrange your working environment in a manner that is well suited for the way you work.
Regardless of how your office is arranged, it's difficult for anyone to function effectively when surrounded by disorder.
One of the biggest stressors that home-based workers deal with is the clutter that seems to build up in their work areas, especially when personal and family items manage to find their way into the space that is supposed to be reserved for work. Take some time to remove items from your home office space that do not need to be there if your workspace isn't as organized as you'd like it to be.
Once you have de-cluttered your home office, it's up to you to keep the mess from coming back.
- Take care of paperwork as it crosses your desk and immediately file or discard it. This will keep it from piling up and help you manage your time more effectively by eliminating the need for you to touch the items multiple times.
- Avoid bringing items into your home office that don't need to be there, and make sure that the other members of your household understand and practice this policy.
- Set aside time at the end of each day, or at least once a week, to scan for items that need to be removed from the room and put them back where they belong.
Get Ready for Less Stress and Increased Success
Once you have your home office arranged in a way that's conducive to making the most of your work time, and you've implemented a plan to get organized and keep clutter from getting out of control, you'll be on your way to enjoying successfully performing your daily duties in an efficient and attractive home office.