Paul Wherly

Tips for Organizing Your Workspace for Better Workplace Performance

Tips for Organizing Your Workspace for Better Workplace Performance

Did you know that how your workspace is organized has a powerful effect on your mind and your performance? Wherever you’re working, one of your biggest challenges is to create a workspace that makes you as efficient as possible and increases your productivity.

Do you ever hear people say: ‘My workspace is cluttered and disorganized but I like it that way. It works for me!’ People who say this usually have never tried to tidy up their workspace for any period  of time, it’s as if the chaos of the desk is shielding them from the possibility of more work, that the busy desk indicates a busy person.  If you want to make a difference in your role and increase your performance, then you have to get organised. Kick out the cluttered desk and go for clean and clutter-free, I promise you a clean workspace will do wonders for your productivity.

Kill the Clutter

Your desk top is your working area, and the only things you should have on it are the things you are using. Everything else should be put away. Where do you put your clutter? Photos and motivational quotes? Move them to your whiteboard. Stationery? Desk drawer. Books and ledgers? Filing cabinets and bookcases. Lots of people use their desk drawers to keep their work space clutter free.

A simple system like using the top drawer is for the stuff you need most, the second drawer less, and the third drawer the least is the easiest to implement straight away.  Don’t keep things that you might use on your desk, that’s paving your desk for clutter-dom! Whenever you’ve finished using something, put it straight away immediately. It’s the opportunity to break away from the computer screen, stretch your legs and clear your mind. Don’t tell yourself you’ll do it later, because you’ll forget or get distracted.

The Chair

The best chair for the productive worker is a swivel chair with wheels. Not only should it have wheels but it should be very comfortable; you’re going to use it a lot.  The wheels let you slide around from one area of your workspace to another and the swivel gives you maximum mobility. When you have a comfortable, mobile chair you’ll find you can work more efficiently and get your tasks completed faster. Given how much time you spend sitting down in makes sense to invest in a decent chair.


You’re not a vampire in dire need of the dark! Get bright, adjustable lighting that’s suitable for any time of day or night and illuminates your workspace completely. What works best is to have a nice window nearby so that you can use your artificial lighting together with natural light from outside. Some people think that working by a window would distract them, but natural light is good for you, you’ll find that you’ll complete your work in a better mood.

Your Schedule

Let people know what you are doing. It makes it easier to allocate your time (link to the how to say no post here). Place a calendar and/or whiteboard above your desk where you can see it and access it easily. This board or calendar will become the focus of your working area, so place on it the things you need to see daily. It also helps to add some nice quotes to keep you motivated and inspired.

Never Eat at Your Desk

You may be busy but eating at your desk doesn’t increase your performance or your productivity. If that’s not a good enough reason remember that food and drink is lethal to computers, yes that spilled drink is a big computer killer. But it’s not just the computer that gets in a mess when you eat at your desk, but your papers too.

The best reason for not eating at your desk is that you need a strong division between work-time and break-time. When you’re taking lunch, get away from your work area, get some fresh air and come back to your desk feeling rejuvenated and refreshed.

Ending the day on a productive high:

Schedule in desk tidying time every single day that you work, it’s usually the last thing you’ll do before you leave the office. Can you imagine what it’s like to start the day at a neat and tidy workstation?  No one can stay clutter-free all the time without some reminding, so make it part of your daily schedule to do a quick tidying up of your work area. You should also schedule the cleaning of your computer screen on a regular basis and a quick polish of your desk.

My final tip for increasing workplace performance is simple: don’t over organise . Some people organise and shuffle things around in order to procrastinate and put off doing other tasks they need to do.

Don’t be that person.  Your goal is to create a system that will enable you to work faster, more efficiently and make your work more enjoyable. If you get obsessed with the system, then you’ll never get anything done!

Like this post? If you share it you’ll find 3 motivational quotes for your whiteboard, just right click and then save-as to your desktop. Then print them out and stay motivated!

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Let me know what changes you make to your working environment in the comments.

Shelley Fishel

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