Think of all the time you spend sitting at your desk. That’s a lot of your time, right? Yet so often, our desks are messy deposits of stray papers, random cords, and maybe a few coffee mugs. And how many times have you promised yourself to clean your desk, yet somehow it never seems to happen? Make 2017 the year of clean, organized desk. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how more productive and efficient you’ll feel.
First, let’s take some advice from Dan Charnas. He’s the author or Work Clean: The life-changing power of mise-en-place to organize your life, work, and mind. His credentials? He’s a chef. How do chefs efficiently produce an incredible work product from a tiny—sometimes crazy—work environment? They keep their kitchens super organized.
Your work product may look more like spreadsheets, less like coq au vin, but nevertheless, here are 3 desk design tips, taken from Charnas, that will revolutionize how you work.
Envision your workspace and ask yourself: What three things do I need to access the most?
If you’re always reaching for a particular pen and notebook, keep those things placed closely by your dominant-hand. How often do you reach for your charger? How often do you use post-it-notes? Take stock of all the items you use at your desk and then organize your desk in a way that correlates the regularity of the use of those items with your dominant or nondominant hand.
[Related: 13 Attention-Grabbing Resume Examples]
This one may seem obvious, but you need to be comfortable at your desk in order to work efficiently. Time spent fidgeting and trying to get comfortable is time lost. If you’re back is killing you in your desk chair, get a new chair. If you prefer to be standing instead of sitting, see if you can get a standing desk. If you’re squinting at your laptop, get a monitor. All the small changes that could make you more comfortable at your workstation are all things that can help you be more productive.
Clean as you go
This is arguably the most important part in keeping an efficient and organized desk. Dedicate five minutes at the end of every day to tidying your space. Return all your items to their rightful place, and eliminate the clutter accumulated that day. The next morning, you’ll be welcomed to work with a desk that’s inviting you to be your most organized and productive self.