HOW TO CREATE THE PERFECT CLUTTER-FREE WORKSPACE AT HOME
The one thing that really helps my productivity when working from home? Having a dedicated workspace.
It’s simple, right? When you have a clean and organised desk, you’ll find it’s so much easier to concentrate and work through your to-do list.
Even when I’m on track with my work, I find it much more difficult to get in the right mindset if my workspace is cluttered. It makes me feel unorganised which can really affect the way that I work.
So how do you create the perfect workspace at home? It starts with a plan of course!
There’s a little bit of prep work to do before getting into the actual workspace planning and that’s decluttering. But I don’t just mean physical decluttering - I mean digital too.
Digital detoxes and having social media free weekends are super important to increase your productivity. Doing this at a weekend is also more effective because you’re getting in the right mindset for the week ahead.
If your desk is filled with papers and sticky notes, or your desktop is full of files and your inbox has hundreds of unread emails - it’s the same thing. It can start to make you feel anxious, which leads to a decrease in productivity.
Have you ever noticed when you procrastinate? Is it because you’ve got distracting things lying around or too many tabs open? Having a workspace that’s too busy can be really bad for your concentration.
So while you want it too look pretty, you don’t want to fill it with fancy notebooks, ornaments and mugs. This can actually lead procrastination and while you might think you’re being productive, you’re not - you’re just being busy!
So the first step when it comes to creating a clutter-free workspace is to pick a chunk of time and get organising. Don’t just think about it in your head - write it down in your planner so it’s in your schedule.
If you don’t write it down and assign a deadline, you’ll keep putting it off because of everything else you have to do. Just like you plan all your other projects and appointments, plan for this step too.
Once that’s in your calendar, it’s time to sort out your digital clutter.
CLEAR YOUR INBOX
Ever come across the phrase, “eat the frog”? It means getting the worst task out of the way first - and if you’re anything like me, you’re not the biggest fan of emails.
I’ll hold my hand up and say I’m guilty of letting my inbox pile up to over 200+ emails. I always open the important ones and ones from clients. But I am guilty of letting other emails just sit in my inbox. There have been times when I’ve opened up my Gmail account and I’ve felt anxious just looking at it, without even doing anything.
One of the main reasons why I get so anxious is because I understand the guilt I have. These emails are emails I want to read and they’re also ones I want to respond to.
My worst habit is opening an interesting email then marking it as unread so I remember to reply to it...and then forget. But I honestly sometimes feel like I don’t have enough time in the day. And when I sit down in an evening, the last thing I want to do is answer emails.
It can be a vicious circle, but not if you have the right routine in place. If your inbox is out of control, initially set aside a chunk of time to get it sorted once and for all. Use this tutorial as your guide. It’s important to get the foundations in place first before you start implementing an inbox routine.
You can use an app like Sortd to move different emails into different to-do lists and you can also create folders. I love doing this because it keeps my inbox organised and I know exactly where everything is and what I need to do.
This is also a great way to free up space in your main inbox, which means you’ll feel less overwhelmed.
Then it’s just about keeping on top of it! I try to check my emails twice a day and quickly delete anything I’m not interested in. Usually, at the end of the week I’ll do a big de-clutter. But I always make sure to respond to the most important emails - they’re the ones that can’t wait.
CLEAR YOUR DESKTOP
I used to be the person who had absolutely nothing on her desktop. Seriously, all of my documents used to be in folders and I kept it all super organised. Lately though, my desktop has been so cluttered there’s been no room for anything else (yep, nobody is perfect, friends!)
The main reason this has started to happen is because of my new video venture. I put everything on my desktop before moving it to the hard drive. And because I’ve been so swamped lately, I’ve been cutting down my time in terms of my processes - but now I’m having to pay for that.
Can you relate?
Create folders for everything. And don’t do what I did - when you create something or download something, don’t leave it, move it to a designated folder!
I have a 2017 folder for my blog which is broken down into months and even that is broken down into folders for blog posts, photos and anything else I have. This will really help you stay clutter-free and organised. Plus, you’ll be able to see your awesome desktop background too.
It’s also useful when you’re sharing old content to social media, because you’ll be able to find your photos quickly and easily.
Now we’re onto the main focal point of your workspace - the desk.
CLEAR YOUR DESK SPACE
Having a clutter-free desk is the best for making you feel organised, motivated and it’s a great way to boost your productivity. When my desk is cluttered, I can’t concentrate, and I also get frustrated when I don’t have the time to tidy it.
When creating or rearranging your workspace, plan in advance and try things out. I used to have notebooks stacked on my desk, but I found them distracting so I removed them and put them elsewhere.
Your desk doesn’t need to be busy with loads of ornaments and accessories. If that works for you, great! But you want to make sure that everything has a space.
For instance, I know I can reach to the left to find my weekly planner and daily planner, and to the right for my pen pot and appointment diary. I have a corner of accessories, but it’s very minimal, which helps me stay focused.
You can get some drawers, shelves, storage boxes - anything that’s going to help you create a clutter-free workspace that’s right for you.
CLEAR YOUR OFFICE
If you’re like me and you have an office in your home, it’s important to keep the whole room tidy - not just your desk. Just like you care for the rest of your home, you need to care for this space in the same way.
The beauty of having your own office is that it’s yours - you can style it however you want. I love working in my office and I’m grateful for having one in my home, so I want to keep it tidy.
Again, make sure everything has a place and you tidy things away at the end of the day. It may sound simple and obvious, but sometimes you need to hear these messages again in order for them to really resonate with you.
A cluttered space equals a cluttered mind. Do yourself a favour and care for your workspace in the right way.
FIND THE BEST PLANNER
My final tip is one that has supercharged my productivity and that is to find the best planner to keep yourself organised. I use the Happiness Planner and I couldn’t recommend it enough.
Not only does it keep me organised when it comes to my schedule and to-do list, it also has a really positive impact on my motivation and productivity. By noting down what I’m excited about and what I’m grateful for it motivates me to work hard.
It helps me feel completely clutter-free because it’s the only schedule I need. Each day has it’s own page where I can document everything. It also has a space for meals, exercises, notes (which I love) and a space where you can pick your main focus.
With a Happiness Planner you don’t need anything else. You can put away the sticky notes, notebooks or spare bits of paper - everything is in this pretty, portable, happiness-filled planner.
Did I also mention how pretty they are?
How do you declutter your workspace? Do you have any other tips you’d like to share?
This post contains affiliate links. All thoughts and opinions are my own.