How to effectively organize your workspace


We spend most of the day at work, whether in the office or at home. We often sacrifice our comfort and rarely think about how the space around us affects us. If you feel like you're not getting anything done and are bogged down by a pile of responsibilities, it may be because of an unorganized stack of papers on your desk where it's impossible to find anything. Share our tips that will help you organize your workspace more efficiently to work more productively.

Get rid of unnecessary stuff.

Before you take on the reorganization of the workplace, you need to throw out everything unnecessary. Even if you work more productively at an untidy desk, get rid of what does not bring any benefit. It does not hurt. This applies to everything: working papers, stationery, and other things - try to make do with the necessary minimum. Coldly throw-away items that do not help you in your work: a couple of memorabilia and your favorite framed picture do not hurt, but they can take away a severe part of the work surface if they are much more.

Do a general cleaning once every few months and make sure it's clean regularly. Choose the most convenient schedule for yourself (for example, 15 minutes at the end of each workday or an hour on Friday) and stick to it - so it will be easier to keep order, and documents and papers will not pile up on the desk. And to get rid of unnecessary things that were more accessible, always keep a trash can near the desk. In addition, it is helpful to wipe the desk with an antibacterial napkin.

Deal with papers and documents

Let's be honest: papers are the primary source of trash on the desk. And, although we work with them less and less frequently, there aren't as many companies that have entirely switched to electronic document management as there could be. This is a problem for students, they always have a lot of papers, essays, but many of them use electronic documents. For example, many look for free essay and just download them and hand them in electronically. To make dealing with the flow more accessible, you can have two trays or two folders on your desk - depending on the number of documents you have to deal with. Put everything new in the first one: applications for signature, unopened letters, and the like. The second should hold papers you've looked at and need to deal with later, so nothing is left unattended.

For papers that you don't need to deal with right away but which you must have with you anyway. It doesn't have to be the usual folders: if you don't have a lot of space on your desk, you can try hanging special trays (such as for storing newspapers) on the wall. Minor notes, memos, and reminders can be hung on a particular grid instead of the boring corkboard. Especially essential documents can be scanned and keep a copy on your computer.

Consider a system of labels and labels - it may be enough to sign the folders, and maybe it is helpful to mark them in color to find what you need faster. When stacking papers, ask yourself whether you need them and whether you will use them in the future - most of the things we keep "just in case" we never use later on. Try not to have a folder "Other" or "Miscellaneous" - most likely, over time. You will forget what exactly is there.

Try to implement the "Paper to Action" principle. Don't let papers and notes lie on your desk. See them as an action you need to take: for example, a business card with your phone number written on it is an excuse to put a new contact into your smartphone or make a note in your diary that you need to call someone.

Use boxes and other storage tools

Once you've dealt with the paperwork, pay attention to other items on your desk, too. No matter how lovingly you choose your office supplies, it's better not to keep them on your desk all the time, but to take them out as needed - that way, there's more space and less dust. You can, for example, use egg holders for little things. A separate box or container should put something that you do not use very often: a bar, calculator, or scotch tape.

Boxes, folders, and containers for storage are inexpensive (you can find them at the same IKEA), but they will help you use the working space much more effectively, both in the office and at home. Choose sturdy ones that will last a long time, and don't forget to think about labeling and labeling systems, just as you would with papers.

Keep the wires tidy.

To make your desk look cleaner, it's worth hiding wires and extension cords: you can buy a particular container, or you can try making one yourself - out of a shoebox. If you don't have much space and nowhere to hide the wires, at least tie them neatly so, they don't get in the way and don't get tangled.

Organize the files on your computer

Another critical consideration in organizing your workspace is sorting the files on your computer. If you haven't done so so far, take an hour or two to reorganize your documents: it's scary to take on, but you'll thank yourself later. Just as with ordinary papers, organizing and labeling them in a way that works for you helps a lot. If you often have to work with different versions of the same document, it's good to think of a naming system that's easy to understand for all the people working on the task. In addition, you can add date and, if necessary, time to the name of each new version - so it's easy to understand when the last changes were made and compare versions.

Folders that you don't need right now but will need in the future can be archived for easier reference. And you should keep a copy of your most valuable documents in the cloud, just in case. 

Organize additional storage space

This advice is practical first of all for those who work from home, and not only with documents but also with more voluminous stuff: If in the office it is not so scary to leave papers on the table for the weekend, then at home you want the space to be as clean as possible. Not everyone has a separate office or a large work area, but there is a way out even in this case. You can add hinged shelves above the desk or organize additional storage space underneath it.

Divide the workplace into zones

It's a handy trick to help you cope with multiple tasks more effectively: give yourself a place to work at your computer and a separate area for functions that can be done without it - with printed documents or, for example, brainstorming with a notepad in hand. Even if you have a small desk, you can still zone the space:, for example, move to the other edge or sit on a shared couch.

It is essential to allocate a separate space for work (even if it will be part of the kitchen table or a small folding table). This is necessary primarily to separate work and personal life (working from home can be challenging to switch from one mode to another), but it can also be helpful from a more practical point of view. For example, it is beneficial to have a separate work computer, which will not be approached by children and will not break at the most inopportune moment.

Keep the things you need at hand.

We think you already apply this principle, but to repeat it one more time would not be a bad thing. You were arranging the home office, organizing the space, and determining where this or that thing will lie start from the way the work process is based in the first place. Keep the essential items close at hand, and the rest according to how you use things, such as putting paper near the printer and Post-it notes near the area where you usually work with documents or read the books you need for work.

Take care of things that make you feel better.

When thinking about your workspace, don't forget about comfort - including the little things. It is very important to choose a comfortable chair to avoid back and neck pain, to take care of sufficient lighting (if the office is dark, buy a desk lamp) and other things that can make the office routine better, such as a pillow under the wrist, which helps prevent tunnel syndrome, or a footrest from relieving strain on the back and neck.

Don't eat at your desk.

Although this advice refers not to the organization of space but the organization of the work process, and it seems obvious, it is still often neglected - and in vain. Having lunch at your desk, you can unnoticeably eat more (when we are busy with work, we ignore how much we eat, even if we are not already hungry, and often choose not the most healthy snacks). In addition, a break for lunch (albeit small) will help distract from business and return to them with renewed vigor.


If there is no way to avoid snacking at your desk, choose food that does not crumble, spill, or get dirty (shaking crumbs out of the keyboard or spilling soup on your laptop is not a fun prospect), try to be neat and not to disturb others (strong smell of food can be unpleasant to colleagues), clean up after yourself and be sure to wipe the table after lunch.