Take Five: Desk Efficiency

Don’t we all start the year with resolutions such as, "I will be more organised this year", or "I will declutter my home and wardrobe"?

Those are all fine and good, of course, but how about your desk? Now, it is generally understood that we spend more hours in our life either in bed or at our desk. So, if that's the case, why not make our desk the priority this year. 

Here's the thing, having spent an average of 9 hours a day at my desk, I know that I need the space to be friendly but also practical. So, here are some things I can't live without as well as a few tips I have gathered throughout the years.

I want you to know that I have applied this method not only to my desk in the office but also in my home office… Yes, I never stop. 

In order to implement some of my tips, here are the things you need:

1) Make a shopping list.

Make a list of the material you always refer to or need. I love stationery so I need to be surrounded by notebooks and pens and, yes, I colour-code my calendar or writing. This, however, is really up to you. I have tried going paperless and have managed to cut down on paper storage by scanning most of it to Evernote.

But, when I am brainstorming, writing an article or simply taking an appointment, I need to write them down on paper. For some reason, my brain just seem to function better that way.

Whatever you are comfortable and need around you when you work needs to be on hand at all time - it simply keeps you focused. Make sure you include in your list things like hand cream, box of tissue etc… I mean everything you use or need to use on a daily basis.

2) Think about how you work

I divide my desk into work areas - even if I have a small desk. This will help tremendously and is known to be feng shui friendly on top of that. Generally, I divide my space into two - one corner with all my electronics (iPad, Desktop, and phone) and the other corner is where I gather all the papers in trays that are labeled (yes, it has to be labeled. Otherwise, it'll be another waste basket).

The middle area of my desk is reserved for what I am working on at the moment. Mostly, it is for when I am writing. 

3) Treat your gadget well and they will treat you well in return

Your gadgets need some love, so clean up the hard drive, keep a clean desktop and yes some pictures might need to be deleted.

Basically make some space, and tidy up.  I make sure I do that often, it’s a way of taking stock of what I have achieved so far and what still needs to be done. And being a geek in the making and always connected, I do use some props that I simply adore.

I have listed 3 that I consider a must-have:

For avid users of iPads like me, I swear by the Twelve South Hover bar that keeps your iPad at eye level, you can either attach it to your screen or desk. With the right app, your Ipad can even become a second screen.

Then there is the Blue lounge phone tray, yes my phone has a home on my desk and I can keep up with all incoming message at a glimpse and I always know where my phone is.

And last but not least my Apple magic trackpad has saved my wrist from past injuries. 

4) Think outside the box when it comes to utilising your space. 

I need maximum space on my tabletop all the time and this is why my headphones and handbag hang on the inside panel of my desk. Please don’t leave your handbag on the floor, find a clean nook for it.

5) Green is the new black

Introduce a plant into your work space. There's really no explanation needed for that as it simply makes things nicer. Oh, and dying plants are a no-no. So, take care of them - a few minutes a day would suffice. My favourite is the orchids as they are easy to maintain and keep their bloom for a long time.

6) Watch your back!

Get yourself the most expensive chair you can afford. Just like a good bed your office chair is important. You are after all spending most of your day on it and back and neck pains are often due to a bad chair. Trust me, I have experienced these pains firsthand.

7) Tidy up and Repeat: 

At the end of each day makes sure you tidy up your workspace. No one love starting the day with a mess. Thinking about where to put your coffee first thing in the morning is just plain unnecessary.

And remember, the nice auntie who cleans your desk will be thankful for making her life much more pleasant. Think about it as getting fresh laundered sheet everyday…. plush.

In conclusion, the same way that your style is unique make it your own by asking yourself the right questions and of course don’t hesitate to splurge a bit, you will be rewarded everyday of the year for it. 

I’ve shared with you the ways in which I try to keep my workspace neat and tidy. What’s yours? Share with me your own methods of organisations in the comment box below! I’d love to hear some of your thoughts.
— Nejla Matam-Finn, The Editor-in-Chief