When was the last time you paused and took a good look at your desk? Sure, you’re busy and work is crazy – we get that. But an out-of-control workspace is only going to make it worse. Your environment impacts your own productivity, efficiency, and attitude, as well those of your co-workers.
So how do you objectively determine if your workspace is just a little untidy or a complete mess? First, you have to stop running from one project to another and spend some time in your workspace. Take a good look around. Then ask yourself these four questions to uncover if it’s out of control.
How does your workspace make you feel?
As you gaze across your desk, how do you feel? If the state of your workspace leaves you feeling assured, confident, and in control, then you’re probably in good shape. But, if the sight of your workspace induces feelings of panic, uncertainty, or insecurity, then it’s probably out of control.
Does your space hinder your productivity?
Now think about how you work in your area. How often do you waste time searching for files, digging for a pen, or sifting through papers? In a Forbes article, Susan Kousek, a Certified Professional Organizer, said, “For many people, it’s difficult to focus when their desk is filled with papers, phone messages, business cards, magazines, and newsletters, especially when the layers are inches high.” A workspace that’s out of control can take a toll on your efficiency and productivity.
Are your visitors and co-workers comfortable?
Unless you work alone at home, your workspace impacts others. You need to consider if visitors and co-workers are at ease when they stop by your desk. Are they able to focus on you and the task at hand? Or are they too busy dodging stacks of folders and being distracted by the clutter? If you’re brave enough, you might even ask the next person who stops by if they think your area is out of control.
Does it come across as unprofessional?
Your workspace says a lot about you and your work ethic. And the number one thing you don’t want is for it to come across as unprofessional. According to the Huffington Post, a messy desk is “often associated with disorganization, thereby giving others around you the impression that you may not have your work (or life) under control.” Don’t let your co-workers, superiors, or customers get the wrong idea about you based on an out-of-control workspace.
Based on those questions, is your workspace out of control? If the answer is yes, don’t panic. Just take it a step at a time, and before long you’ll have a tidy workspace. Organizing your desk and work area might take a little effort and time, but the end result will be a workspace that inspires feelings of confidence, productivity, and professionalism for everyone who enters.
How out-of-control has your workspace gotten? What tips do you have for organizing and maintaining your desk and workspace? Share your experiences below.