It is a well known saying that cluttered space equals cluttered mind. While that may be true there is also the saying clear space, clear mind.
Decluttering and organising helps keep your mental health in check and improves your ability to make decisions.
Having a tidy and well organised office usually means a much more productive working day and a clearer space for thinking when it comes to work but it is probably easier said than done sometimes.
Quite often, a work space can easily become overrun with paperwork, ongoing projects, lists of things to do and plenty of ideas strewn around on notebooks, pads or whiteboards. Sounds familiar?
Most small business owners and entrepreneurs get stuck in the mindset that everything has to be done now and in quick time. Income and cost reduction are high on the list of important items in the business and quite often, when a business is doing well, it grows so quickly the owner has little time to really assess their working environment.
When I talk to business owners and entrepreneurs that are growing a business quickly (or quicker than they anticipated), they are struggling with overwhelm and disorganisation in their workplace. Their response to the suggestion to take time out and get their surroundings in order so they become more productive and less stressed is – ‘I haven’t time to do that’.
If you continuously work in a disorganised and stressful environment your business will suffer.
Not only because the systems that should be in place for when your business has growth aren’t available to you but because it has a negative effect on your mental capacity to do well and focus on the big things.
If you were to take a day or two out of your working week to make sure the way your office is set up works better logistically and you can plan or rearrange the current systems to work better. While you lose a day or two initially, ultimately your working environment would be better suited to your needs. Your systems would be better setup for the workload and you would be less stressed.
Here are a few things to consider when trying to create a positive and productive working environment:
Natural light is best to work in during the day as it helps with your serotonin levels which keeps you awake and focused. Try to work on the side of the room that has a good amount of light. If you are a late night worker, invest in a daylight lamp to keep you going.
Desks are important both in position within a room and arrangement. If you like to write lots of notes, make sure you have a small pot for stationary but don’t put your whole stationary cupboard on your desk. Keep the bare minimum on your desk and store away the rest. If you have a lot of paperwork, make sure there is a filing system on your desk so you can store papers in a manner that allows you file it away at the end of the day and easily find what you need when you return.
Position your desk away from draughty doorways and windows and close enough to your filing system or storage units so you can easily reach them when you need to get a new file or put something away.
Choose storage solutions that fit your files, boxes and style.
Sounds silly but if you buy the storage before you know what is going in them, inevitably you’ll find they don’t fit the shelving properly, you don’t have enough space, or worse still, the storage is too big for the space and so dominates it. So be clear on what you need before spending on storage items.
If you are someone who needs to see what you have to remember you have it, don’t get storage with doors and drawers to hide things. Create open drawer storage with baskets and labels that doesn’t look messy.
So next time you’re in your work area, take some time to assess your space. If you catch yourself thinking you wish your systems were better organised or you are struggling to find what you need. Consider taking the time out, assessing what you need and deciding if you need to bring in a professional to help or do the work yourself.
You’ll find yourself, and your business in a much better place going forward.
Sian is an organising addict and founder at Sorted where she helps businesses create order in a busy environment. Her goal is to inspire, motivate and declutter as many lives and businesses as possible.