Is your work space making you sluggish and listless? Are you suffering from writer’s block? Do you suffer from anxiety each time you walk into your office or sit behind your desk? You are not suffering from a rare disease or even loosing your mind! Chances are pretty good that you have piles of paperwork, mail and files sitting atop of or strewn around your desk. And yes, even on the floor next to your desk! You are in the midst of total chaos without understanding why.
Let me explain. Everything has energy—everything and there is no exception. You are feeling out of sorts because you work space is a mess! It’s like trying to maneuver through an obstacle course. Your thinking is all over the board and getting any work done is close to impossible. You concentration is lacking and you keep getting up every fifteen minutes to get coffee, use the bathroom, chat with co-workers, chat with friends, etc. Any excuse to run—far away from the “desk from hell!”
Well, I have felt the same way—in fact, most of us have at one time or another! But help is here and it’s much easier than you think! Take a good look at these five easy steps to help you get out of your slump and back into the game!
Make a commitment to keep this space sacred! This is your special work area. Own it, enjoy it and make sure everyone respects it! Post a gentle reminder that this space belongs to you and your business. Treat it as if it were special because it is!
Start with a blank canvas. Yes it does sound like a lot of work, however, clearing your entire work area will help you toss or put into storage the things that you aren't currently using. Experiment with changing the furniture placement so that it flows much better for your needs. Remove pieces of furniture that are just taking up space. This office is supposed to be designed to help you with your business, not work against it.
Sit down behind your desk an imagine yourself starting off your day. What is the first thing that you do? If you are on the phone lead generating first thing in the morning then ask yourself if your phone is placed in a comfortable position. Are you reaching or stretching because the cords are too short? If you are using your cell phone or even a desk top phone, do you have a hands free or Bluetooth device? What is the quality like on your device? If you are straining to hear the person at the other end then make an investment in a good quality Bluetooth or hands free unit. Do whatever it takes to make talking on the phone as comfortable as possible. We know how much we all love talking on the phone! Why not make this a positive experience!
Where does your computer sit? Are the keyboards comfortable? I myself have a laptop but I hate using the keyboard and "pseudo mouse." I have changed the sensitivity level numerous times to no avail. So I finally purchased a wireless mouse and separate keyboard that is comfortable and ergonomic. In addition, I purchased a riser so that my screen sits up higher than it would normally on the desktop. I now have a comfortable workplace both in my home office and my office at Keller Williams Realty. There are also risers that can accommodate desktop computers as well. The object here is to make sure that your desk functions for you and doesn't make you uncomfortable in any way.
Evaluate the supplies that you use on a daily basis. Are they within reach? Do you have easy access to pens, staplers, push-pins, etc. without having to tear apart your drawers? Organize all your supplies and put away the supplies that you use on an occasional basis.
Now that your everyday supplies are put in their proper place it's time to organize or re-organize your files. Keep older files (2 years and older) in a separate storage cabinet. Keep your current files organized in file cabinets which are easily accessible or talk to your associates for find out which on-line document hosting website they recommend. Since these files contain sensitive information you want to make sure that you are dealing with a reputable company. If you are a REALTOR® contact your board for references. Many local boards have approved vendors who can help you transition your files and go paperless.
Position printers and fax machines so that they are not blocking a pass through and also make sure they are not hanging off of a way-to-small cabinet or table. You don't have to spend a lot of money to find good, quality furniture. There are many re-sale office supply stores where you can get good deals on slightly used office furniture. Check out eBay and Craig's List as well. Log onto IKEA for great storage solutions. The IKEA catalogue is also a great way to get ideas for arranging your current bookshelves and storage.
Keep your computer running smoothly by storing extra large files on an external hard drive; especially if you have a lot of color brochures and pictures in your documents. Keep your computer running at its optimum by deleting cookies, cleaning up the registry, defragmenting and cleaning up old files. These tasks don't take very long but will be worth it in the long run.
Keep a paper shredder plugged in and ready to go! So many people make piles and piles of paperwork that needs to be shredded. Before your know it, this paperwork gets mixed into the "other" paperwork that has accumulated on your desk. Congratulations--now you have ten times the work of sorting through, organizing and shredding this mess. Time is precious so make the best use of it!
Make sure your furniture is comfortable. You sit at your computer for hours at a time so be mindful of your posture and how your chair is affecting your upper and lower back. Making the proper investment in a good chair will save you money down the road on medical bills resulting from poor posture. Don't forget to invest in a mat if your chair is sitting on carpeting or wood floors. They are inexpensive and will help save wear and tear on your flooring.
Take a look at your surroundings and hang pictures and objects that make you feel good or energize you. I actually have a small water fountain on my desk in my home office. I love the sound and it seems to get my creative juices flowing. Personalize your space so that it reflects your personality. We spend so much time researching, talking on the phone, writing blogs, (LOL!), preparing flyers, etc. Why not take the time to make your work space one that is pleasant as well as functional!
Ah the last but most important step of all! This one is ongoing so please be patient. Keep your workspace clean and free of clutter! Why not write some time into your schedule once or twice a week to do a sweep of all the clutter that has accumulated during your working hours? Spending a half hour or so twice a week will save you the headache of tackling paperwork that has become a mile high and stacked on the floor next to your desk? (I can see all of eyes rolling now)!
Now these are just the beginning steps to jump start you back into circulation! We haven't touched on Feng Shui for the office (home offices and commercial offices are set up differently). That is an entirely new blog. You don't even have to Feng Shui your surroundings so don't feel obligated to go out and buy every book available. Just set your mind to making a concerted effort and create a workplace that functions right for you. Have fun, bring out your personality and make your workplace a fun place to go to everyday! You might even become more productive in the process!
Look for more upcoming articles on Feng Shui and the Office!