Make Your Office Work For You!

There are people that work ‘creatively’ and a messy desk is not the end of the world. There are others that cannot focus, cannot be productive and are stressed with disorder. It really does not have to be that way.

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People who constantly live in a state of chaos are prone to procrastination and an inability to commit to work .... they get anxious and overwhelmed with change and usually give up before they even start the project. Their finances are wasted; they feel stuck and bad about themselves
— Ranka Burzan

Here are my 5 top tips to get to grips with a cluttered and disorganised office - at home or in an external building, the principles are the same. If you cannot find what you need, and you feel your blood pressure rising, then you need to take action. The cost on your health and wealth depends on it.

  1. Do you need it or use it? Take a look around your office space. Take stock of what you can see (and what is shoved in a drawer you can no longer open). You can lose on average 25% of ‘stuff’ in a declutter. That is so much more space than you currently have, and that space is great for for mental agility. In a crowded space we cannot focus properly and there are too many distractions. It’s a simple process of asking yourself these three questions as you hold each object (don’t try holding up anything heavier than you - health and safety note). When did you last use it, can you see yourself using it in the next year, and, do you want it to live in your space rent free? The answer should be clear, and what you don’t use can exit the building. Remember it is costing you money to keep it, so be brutal, and remember how freeing that acquired space will be for your business.

  2. Is it accessible? What do you use, regularly, every day? Can you reach what you need without climbing over other stuff, or having an aching back trying to bend and twist to reach it? It’s all time that you are losing and you are risking your health and well-being. Will you get paid if you have a back injury? Unlikely if you are self employed. Small changes make a massive difference. If you are not sure what falls into this category, have just one day, where you have a pen and paper and note when something causes you this difficulty. You will either be happy with the results or realise its way too often. Simply clearing a path or moving the object to a different location with ease the strain. If it’s a bigger job than that see my details at the bottom of the post.

  3. Can you retrieve it quickly? This refers to the paperwork or emails that are stored away, and cost you wasted time trying to find them. A great example is an archive of old paperwork, that you need to access when you have a request for a particular document. Is a member of staff spending all day locked in a cupboard trying to find it? It’s not just wasted time, but the stress on that staff member, and lowering of moral doing such a boring, thankless task. The time taken to organise the documents is time invested for the future. Compare the cost of employing someone to do the organising work, as opposed to you taking time out of your business, as a starting point. It’s also worth considering the cost of interviewing for more staff when you have to recruit again, because they need greater job satisfaction than searching a poor system! Nobody wants to do frustrating jobs.

  4. Can you breathe in your womb like space? We all like to feel we have enough space around us, and few would choose to work in a cupboard. Whilst I cannot make your office bigger in terms of square metres, I can certainly make it feel bigger which is just as good. In my experience the bigger the space, the more people store and hold onto, so it’s not always the right solution. There are many ways to work in a better environment - declutter what you don’t need, rearrange the furniture, and get rid of bulky items and use space saving and multi-purpose replacements. As an example, you can create space just by having a clear desk and keeping it clear. It immediately looks more inviting. When you arrive at your desk and it is uncluttered you get to work quicker and more efficiently. More efficiency will affect your ability to create opportunities and more money.

  5. How many minutes can you put back into your business to make more profit? Business is about making lots of money. We might love what we do, but it has to be a viable business first and foremost. All the above actions will help you to accumulate more time for your business. It may seem like a few minutes here and there, but it’s a lot over a month and a year. Its not just the physical time, its the toll on you and your health. Stress is a killer, no doubt, so why have unnecessary stress? It is well documented that when we get frustrated, such as looking for something that we cannot locate, our stress hormones kick in, and we feel out of control. I am an ex nurse, and I cannot count how many early strokes and heart attacks I witnessed. Make the changes for you and your family. Your business will thank you too.

If you don’t have the time, you don’t know where to begin, or just don’t want to do this yourself, then I can help. I have a number of options - it starts with a complimentary visit to see what you are up against. Contact me for more details.