These Four Steps Can Transform Your Workspace & Maximize Productivity

desk space productivity


Oct. 26 2015, Published 3:30 a.m. ET

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Your desk.

It’s where some of your best ideas are born, where you wish you could IV coffee into your body on a Monday morning, where you make something brilliant out of a blank page. You need to give your creation station the love it deserves.

A workspace has a lot of potential. With a few key considerations in mind, you can maximize your success by getting your work done in an environment that promotes productivity and creativity.

Follow these four steps to transform your desk into a workspace that makes you want to hustle:

Clear and de-clutter

For some, this may be the hardest part. Take a look at your desk and each item on it. Ask yourself if each of those items really needs to be in arm’s reach.

Anything non-essential (like the three-hole punch you used once last year) can be relocated to a box or cabinet nearby. File away important papers in an organized system so they don’t pile up on your desk. Chances are you have books lying around that could be at home on a shelf.

My favorite desks are deep, so that you have plenty of space between yourself and the keyboard. Imagine there’s a horizontal line across your desk at your keyboard. What’s in front of your keyboard is your space for work; what’s behind the line of your keyboard can house the tools and essentials you need in reach.

Design to inspire

You can still decorate and add your personal flair while keeping your desk clean and clear. You must love sitting at this desk, and the space needs to remind you of the passion you have for your work. Everything in your workspace should speak to your heart.

Your desktop wallpaper is a blank canvas. Fill this space with quotes that inspire you, a photo that motivates you or a cute calendar graphic. Life hack: if you’re like me and you tend to save a million trillion files to your desktop, create a folder on the desktop called “Desktop.” This is your new desktop folder, and your real desktop is free of clutter.

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If the space allows, mount a bulletin board on the wall near you and fill this with your favorite quotes, designs, photographs, patterns, etc. You can use this as a vision board, too, by decorating with photos that represent your goals and motivations. You know that “quotes I love” board you made on Pinterest? Print and (real life) pin!

One of my essential desk items is a set of affirmation cards my first boss gave to me. Work is hard, and sometimes you need a pick-me-up. These ones are pretty.

Use productivity tools

I could geek-out for days about productivity tools, but instead I’m just going to give you a few links to check out. A few winners: The Day Designer by Whitney English, The Simplified Planner by Emily Ley, Powersheets  by Lara Casey. Now, go explore!

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Find your balance and set boundaries

Say, “Ohm.” Your workspace needs to make you feel balanced and restful.

Find a happy medium between cute and practical. If you don’t have space for the ornate magnifying glass paperweight from Pottery Barn, don’t sweat it. You can’t go wrong with keeping things simple and minimalistic. This list of 14 ways to create the chicest desk ever is full of pretty ways to be organized in your workspace.

The other balance you need to achieve is with the personal and professional use of your desk space. This may be different for everyone, so take some time to think about what works best for you. My advice is to separate your personal life from your workspace, especially if you work from home. This is important because 1) you don’t need any added distractions and 2) having balance between the two areas of your life allows for you to maintain work/life boundaries.

So basically, as tempting as it is, don’t sign into your personal Facebook account on your work computer, and don’t move your work laptop to your comfy bed.

Are you ready to get started? Feel free to share below and tell us about the changes you’re going to make to improve your workspace. We can’t wait to see what you do.

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