Yesterday I spent an hour or so helping my Mum organise her desk and office area. This all started due to a switch of network providers which meant she needed to get a new modem connecting her to the Internet. Cords were all over the place requiring some time to sort.
My office space needs to be organised otherwise I’m too distracted and unable to get things done. This doesn’t necessarily mean my desk must to be clean and tidy. My requirement is more of an organised chaos which makes sense to me and the ways that I work. After yesterdays endeavour I noticed a number of interesting things about setting up an office:
- Mum’s stand (for holding books and other documents upright for review/dictation/reading etc.) was on the right side of her laptop when her preference was to look to the left
- Her second screen (external monitor) was a little too low allowing for the laptop screen to cut off the bottom or the monitor screen. Furthermore the monitor was not at a height level to the position of her eyes looking straight ahead
- Cords were stretched, in the wrong power boards and coming out from behind the desk
- Her seat was tilted forward allowing for less comfortable sitting experience. This is a potential sub-conscious distraction if she was to sit for long periods of time
- The desk draws contained multiples of things. For example, pens, pencils, post-it notes, note pads; essentially duplicate office tools that had accumulated over the years including things just not needed anymore that could be thrown away
- Files of documents that had been kept for over 10 – 15 years and not required any more. We humans love to hoard and collect things, it is in our nature…. right?
To be efficient and productive in our respective work areas it is critical to review how we work. What do we need available (quickly)? What aspects of our desk setup ultimately distract us both consciously and unconsciously? Could I scan some of my old documents so that I can throw away or shred the physical copies to clear up space? Are there things I can just throw away that aren’t needed anymore? Do I need multiple pens, highlighters, notepads when I really just need one of each with backups in another area when needed?
I’m not saying I have the right answer to the desk setup, you do. Take a step back, think about your setup and what makes sense for you. Investing 30 minutes of time into this will provide significant dividends in the future.