By Bond Collective Staff
Whether your desk is in your home office, a bustling business center, or a bespoke private office, you have work to get done. New approaches to what the work day looks like have sometimes led to some blurred lines in terms of distinctions between personal time and working hours. Not having a clearly defined and organized work area can drastically diminish how effective we are, and can lead to mid-day burnouts or long afternoons turning into evenings before the day’s work is wrapped.
To optimize your space and make the most out of your work hours, you have to have the right set up--your desk. We’ll show you how to get there in 5 easy steps.
Let’s clear some things up!
Shoulders Back, Eyes Forward
We’ve heard this time and time again, and that’s because it’s as as simple as it is crucial--posture matters. If you’re going to be looking at one thing for 8 hours a day, make it something that is placed where you need it. Instead of adjusting your body, adjust the monitor or screen placement. Monitor arms are easy to install, easily repositioned as needed, and much cheaper than back surgery. Laptop stands are lightweight and easy to transport for those work-from-anywhere days. And what’s more? Both options reduce eye strain and free up available desk space!
Living the Luxury of Less
Last year’s holiday card from the family, an overflowing cup of pens and who knows what else, the row of simultaneously critical yet disregarded sticky notes? They all deserve a better spot than the top of your desk. Office supplies in the drawer, memories on the mantle, and let’s look into project management platforms for some real efficiency! As a general rule, if you can’t think of a great spot for something, you probably don’t need it. Less is more here, give yourself the gift of cleared space, the decadence of emptiness and room the breathe.
Work Like a Chef
Managing multiple projects while fielding calls and meetings, all while staying on top of deadlines? Take your lead from professionals who know the feeling, and use the chef’s secret to keeping things organized in fast paced environments. Mise en place is a French term for “everything in place”, and it's the cleanest way to work. Now that you’ve cleared everything that isn’t business critical from your desk and lifted that screen up, it’s time to think about what you really need on your desk and keep everything neat, lean and tidy. We’re talking one pen, one notepad, only urgent documents and paperwork, only what you absolutely need and nothing else, all now rendered easily accessible.
Right or Left?
Prioritize your dominant hand and keep these few remaining desk items near there. This will leave space for things that come across your desk, allowing for greater visibility and helping you keep track of ongoing projects. You’re moving with intention and efficiency now and you’ll be able to tell a difference straight away.
Keep It Up
Clutter is normal, and it’s going to happen every day. At the end of your day, take one minute to clear anything that has piled up on you. Even if it’s not perfect, taking a few seconds to get that coffee mug to the sink or those documents in the filing cabinet will start your next day way ahead of the curve. Studies show that it takes roughly 66 days before an intentional behavior becomes a habit. Give yourself those 66 days, one minute every day, and in a cumulative hour’s time you’ll have built in a habit most people have put off for years.
The secret to simplifying? Actually keeping it simple. You don’t need to redecorate your entire workspace, you don’t need to purchase expensive furniture or shelving, you may not have to spend any money at all. It’s about addition through subtraction. Giving yourself more (time, peace of mind, etc) by eliminating anything that isn’t directly contributing to the best work you can get out of your day. You got this!