6 Steps to a Productive Workspace

February 27th, 2012 // 5:46 pm @ eileenwebb

I’ve helped lots of people create productive workspaces – but the reality is that I usually have piles of paper in my own office.  And although I can normally put my hands on what I need in seconds – this “system” is more about remembering when and where I last worked on it than anything else.

After months of procrastination, I took my own advice and spent a couple of hours organizing my office. I got rid of most of what was in the old piles and now they reflect what I need to complete a project.  Most of the (much smaller) piles are in files.  The active ones are still in view because for me – out of sight is truly out of mind.  The files in the drawers are reference.  The books are out of the boxes and on the shelves where I can see what I have.

It’s been several weeks, and I’m still keeping up the new system.  This is always my most challenging part for me.

It’s paying off:  I’m getting more done in less time.

I’m not surprised.  A typical office worker spends 10% or more of their time looking for stuff (in an 8 hour day 10% is 48 minutes.) 

Want some tips for how to do this yourself?

1.  Take a look at the tasks you do most often and what you need to do those tasks. 
2.  Create a work space for those tasks and put the items you need for them in a convenient, designated place in that work space.
3.  Get rid of the stuff you don’t need and put less frequently used stuff farther from the main action. 
4.  If the tool you need is not expensive and you have space, invest in an extra “whatchamacallit” so you can keep one in both places where they are used.  Or locate the spaces for those tasks next to each other so it’s easy to share the “whatchamacallit.” 
5.  Label the space in some way (outlines work) so you know what is missing. 
6.  And hardest of all put things back in their place. 

Now you don’t need to spend so much time looking for stuff anymore.

Category : Blog

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