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For so many people, productivity appears to be a lofty goal that always seems just out of reach. I’m sure we all want to be more productive, so we can achieve more every day and hopefully reach whatever goals we are aiming for.
The problem is that the modern world and workplace has so many distractions trying to pull you away from the task at hand. Add that to the decrease in attention span of many people today, and it’s amazing that we get anything done at all!
Is clutter standing in the way of you doing your best work? Likely it is. In fact, it’s one of the biggest challenges to your productivity. Don’t believe me, well read on.
When your environment is filled with clutter, you may feel like you’re constantly reacting rather than responding. You may feel a general sense of unease or anxiety. You may feel mentally exhausted even though you haven’t yet started your workday.
Are you constantly searching for client files, notes, or even something to write with?
Is it a nightmare to find a file on your hard drive or the cloud because you lack an organizational structure and/or an effective file-naming convention?
Do you have a dozen tabs open on your computer at any one time? Yes, that’s a form of clutter, too.
Are there stacks of books, papers, or even coffee cups or dishes sitting on your desk?
Are your file drawers crammed with paperwork that’s no longer needed and which belongs in the trash can?
Across the board, clutter is often fuelling these uneasy feelings and your lack of productivity. It has a way of sucking the life out of you, distracting you from what’s most important, and derailing your success.
Yes, simple clutter can be that much of a distraction and you need to reduce or eliminate it from your workspace as quickly as possible.
Try it. What have you got to lose?
You can’t increase your productivity by reading a book or taking a class. You actually need to take action. The first thing you need to do is to “set the stage.” Nothing’s going to happen until you do.
Let’s focus on some basic components of your work environment. A cluttered and messy office is no place to expect your best work. And, while some people believe that’s where they get their best work done, imagine what they could accomplish if working in a completely upgraded environment!
Here are some simple tips for helping you to create an environment for success.
Put away everything that belongs in your desk drawers or file cabinet.
If you find things that don’t belong in your office, then take them to wherever they belong and put them away.
Remember the old adage, “Out of sight, out of mind.” In this case, that’s a good thing!
Bonus tip: Discard anything you haven’t used in the past year. Odds are you never will. I know this can be difficult for hoarders, but just let it go!
Clear everything from the top of your desk and wipe it down.
Reduce visual distractions as much as possible.
Bonus tip: Wipe down your desk phone and/or smartphone. They’re a haven for germs.
Gather all your Post-It notes and scraps of paper. Review them and discard what you can.
Bonus tip: If they include items you need to reference, keep the one-page document easily accessible on your desktop or stored in a top desk drawer.
If you have boxes or stacks of items on your office floor, go through them and discard everything you can.
Bonus tip: Go through your bookcase and get rid of any books you also own digitally. Box up any others that are outdated and either give them to the library or recycle them.
Technology produces its own brand of clutter. Close down any tabs that you have open on your computer except for those that apply to your current work.
Bonus tip: Turn off any gadgets except the ones you need to do your core work tasks. You’ll get more done faster and easier without added distractions.
By implementing these simple tips, you’ll be well on your way to clearing the clutter in your office and reducing distraction. You’ll love the result. You’ll be more energized, less anxious, and more focused on your work. Investing a little bit of time today to prepare your work environment will make a noticeable difference in your productivity!
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