Creating a Productive Workspace

Whether you work in an office or at home, having a workspace that works for you is a critical component to your success.  This is the space where you focus, create, and deliver. Unnecessary clutter creates distractions, and prevents your from getting started when it’s time to sit down and get started with your day.

I keep a very clean workspace, both at home and in the office.  There is nothing on my desk that is not required for my work.  It is tempting to have pictures, doodads, and other items on a work surface, but I am incredibly scrutinizing about what items make the cut. My desk is a space created for focus, and having our daughter’s latest artwork, while endearing, is not the place to showcase her talent.  This may sound harsh, but when I sit down at my desk, or get to the office, I am ready to start my day/work.  There are other spaces for artwork and casual non-work related activities.

Creating your own workspace that suits your needs is important.  You are training your mind to look at your workspace as just that, the place where you focus and get important work done.  Let’s take a look at 3 principles that can help you set up a productive workspace.

Create A Space Designed for You and Your Work

When thinking about your workspace, think about the type of work you are doing.  What kind of space and layout does that work require?  Building a space that works for your work is critical to keeping your mind focused on what you are creating rather than distracted because the space isn’t set up for you.  Think about the items necessary to support your work, and build in space and a place for those items.

Beware of Horizontal Spaces

I am pretty tough in this department.  Horizontal spaces in my house tend to invite unwanted clutter.  Your desk is no different, and starting your work day clearing a space is no way to get your day going.  Be vigilant with your workspace.  Don’t toss items onto your desk with the thought they can be dealt with later.  Your workspace is not a storage bin designed for anything anyone happens to toss your way.  Horizontal spaces beg for stuff, so keep a close eye on what is allowed in your workspace.

Set Up An Organization System

Now that you are clear on the type of space you need, and you know what belongs in the space, it’s time to set up an organization system.  Your system doesn’t need to be sophisticated, it just needs to work for you.  Think about your output.  For many of us, output is digital, but that is not the case for everyone.  Whatever you choose, make sure it allows you to put your hands on critical documents quickly and easily.  That includes digital filing systems.  Searching your online storage repository for 30 minutes is a waste of your time.  Label your files clearly, and don’t be afraid to dispose of items that are no longer required.  Paper stacks up, so if it is time to permanently disposition documents, do it.

Putting It All Together

Creating your personal workspace in a way that fits your needs it critical to your success. Think about the type of work you do, and what it takes to do it, beware of dumping unnecessary items on your workspace, and set up an organization system that keeps your space free of clutter, and ready for you to get down to business.


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