Organizing Your Workspace for Maximum Efficiency and Happiness

The point of your workspace is twofold:
  1. Help you get your work done efficiently and well.
  2. Add to the pleasantness of your day.
Too often we focus on one goal to the exclusion of the other. We plaster our walls with pictures of our kids but can’t find our to-do lists. Or we pile work related files and items everywhere, but we hate looking at the mess. There should be a middle ground, where your desk is a both a happy place for you to be and a work-maximizing area. Here are my tips for organizing your workspace:
  1. Post your goals. I encourage everyone who works for me to post their goals right in front of them for motivation, whether it is a numerical sales goal or broader directive like, “Get scrappy!”
  2. Put frequently-referenced and non-changing documents at eye level. Whatever work you do, there is probably something that you will look up at often for reference that won’t need frequent updating. It might be a list of picture sizes you use on your blog, the step-by-step instruction for completing a work task, or the numbers for the five people you call the most. Take these documents and tack them up right in front of you if you are in a cubicle or have a corkboard on your wall. That way you won’t be rifling through papers several times a day, or keeping five extra windows open on your desktop.
  3. Display a picture of one or two people that make you smile. This could be your significant other, your children, or a picture of you and your best friend singing karaoke. I choose one favorite photo so that things don’t get cluttered. This keeps me grounded and reminds me that even if I’m in a stressful situation at work, I have people who love me no matter what. Read more...

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