10 Ways You Can Create An Awesome Office Desk Space
It’s the space you spend a big chunk of your time in, day in and day out. And it’s amazing just what an impact our desks have on our mental state - you know just how you feel when you arrive at your personality-void of a desk, which is covered in yesterday’s clutter, from a tea-stained mug to important paperwork. It makes you sigh, inside and out! Spending just a little bit of time and money on your office desk design could make your day so much more enjoyable, and calm too. It may seem a little thing, but it you arrive to a desk space that makes you smile rather than frown, the baseline for your day is started on a much more positive note.
Think of your desk as your cockpit. You’re the pilot, and you are in charge of this space, and working within it.
Clear that space
Get some drawers, some paper organisers, and an intray, and clear that clutter. That means any paperwork you didn’t get round to yesterday can be organised into a clear filing system (top drawer as your inbox, for example) so you know just where to start, and remember exactly where you got to. You only need the things you use most often at your fingertips; the rest can be stored away in drawers.
Get rid of that junk
Purge any unnecessary items. Do you actually use those spare napkins you’ve hoarded from takeaway lunches? Do you need 3 empty water bottles? What about that pot of pens you’ve saved - you know some of those don’t work. Go through EVERY item in and on your desk, and bin/recycle/give away what’s unnecessary.
Group the same stuff together
If you always use certain articles for similar tasks, it makes sense to group them together. If you are sending mail out, for example, perhaps you want to keep envelopes, labels and stamps/franking information all in one space. If you need a few non-work items to keep you sane at work, like your headphones, chewing gum, snacks and an extra cardigan, keep these together too. This way, plugging in your headphones or wrapping your cardi around your shoulders won’t lead you to be distracted by other tasks you run into.
Place each of these groups depending on how, where and when you use them
If you only rarely use your pen and notepad, store it accordingly. Equally, if it’s used for much of every day, keep it to hand. This is about pragmatism - don’t store the neatest, or most beautiful, things in easy reach/on display just because they’re aesthetically pleasing. What you use comes first - be ergonomic with your space.
Contain loose items
There’s nothing worse than a drawer rattling with loose pens, change, and paper clips. Choose some small boxes and fit them into your drawers so that all of your miscellaneous, loose items suddenly have a home.
Check your flow
Do you get a pile of papers, try to wade through them, then balance the ‘done’ stuff on the printer, with actionable items precariously balanced by your feet? You could do with sorting out your workflow. Set a rule - move from left to right (or right to left might be preferable, if you’re left handed for example). When new paperwork arrives, it goes in your intray, on the far left. Your middle space is open and clutter-free - this is where you action items.
Move any paperwork you’re working with into the middle whilst you work on it. Any work that is done goes in a pile on your right, with another pile on the right designated if it’s going on to somewhere else. Keep your desk clear of clutter - that counts your laptop too. Use a laptop mount with a separate keyboard, if possible, so that your laptop isn’t sat slap-bang in your free, central desk space.
Bring life in
Desk plants are a great option for bringing more organic shapes into the office - a little green foliage would do it. If you’re useless at keeping greenery alive, what about a succulent? If you love your horticulture, how about bringing your favourite pot plant in bloom into the office, to bring a bit of colour to your desk space?
Decorate your space
It may feel odd seeing as you have just cleared your space - but injecting some personality makes you empowered in your desk space, and proud of it. It feels more like you, so you take ownership of it. Whatever your style, bring some of it into the space. Hang a picture wire along the wall above your screen to display photos, print out some inspirational backdrops, or switch up your everyday stationery, including your mouse and mousepad, for something a bit more you.
Bring a light
A weird one, but that vicious halogen bulb lighting your entire floor in the same, sharp light could be adding to your stress levels. Give yourself a sense of stepping into your own space by bringing in a light that works for you. A nice warm glow, which lights your working space, can really improve your sense of wellbeing in your space, as well as your concentration levels. Even better if your lighting is zoned, and you can then turn off that halogen horror above.
Does the system work?
Try your new-look desk space for a day, and if that drawer is less useful than you thought, or your workflow is going the opposite direction, swap it up, until your desk space is ergonomic, efficient, and genuinely makes you happy.
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