Does anyone actually like working surrounded by clutter? If you do then how do you cope? I’m not really a clean freak, but I’ve seen some absolutely chaotic workspaces recently and it made me think, how much can a tidy workspace and surrounding actually increase your productivity and general interest in what you are doing?
Having a clear workspace for me is pretty essential when working, and it’s not exactly hard to keep one up. My day-to-day desk is surrounded by my laptop, a lamp, notebook and a second screen. My phone goes where I go, that’s a given. I see a lot of people with a bunch of stuff surrounding their desk barely leaving any space to operate a mouse or write something down. I’m not one to be surrounded by a lot of paperwork so maybe I’m just more prone to tidy away all the unnecessary things away, as 90% of the things I need are on the screen.
Mess is stress
When you wake up in the morning and sit down at your desk, the first thing you see is a mess. This can instantly have a negative effect on your day right from the start. Prevent accidentally dropping something because of the stacks of randomness piled on top of each other, and allocate a space for everything.
With anything and everything surrounding your workspace, there are endless possibilities for distractions. The most I can get distracted by at my desk is my lamp, which to be honest is not very tempting. I have come across desks surrounded by playing cards, toys and in the case of one female work space, nail polishes. All of these randomly scattered objects take your attention away from what you are actually meant to be focusing on, and all of a sudden, you are taking an hour and 30 minute break from writing a report to paint your nails and build a house out of cards.
Think about your future for just a minute. If you’re not planning on welcoming clients, customers or business associates to your messy paradise, this probably won’t concern you as much. However, if you think your workspace will be in the office you plan to greet new potential clients in, seeing a messy desk is likely to put people off. If you’re known to be messy at your desk, what guarantee does your client have that you don’t have a mess in your invoice books, the brief they sent you, or even the very artefact you are working on for them? People associate messy presentation with a messy service. It’s a bit like turning up to a meeting in a tracksuit.
By Denis Brzozowski