In a study featured in The Journal of Neuroscience, Princeton University researchers established that disorder within an environment essentially creates unnecessary competition for your attention. It seems to be stating the obvious, but any objects or papers that are not in their place are distractions that impede focus. To look at it more positively, prioritizing cleanliness and organization will improve your productivity.
Keeping your office sterile and tidy should not be a project that is relegated to spring cleaning. How can you build organization and cleanup into your daily process? Here are six ways you can clear out your space and keep things clean:
Break up your space into zones. Organizational consultant Peter Walsh advises to think in terms of what you need to achieve as you reorganize your space. You might have zones for your computer, research, filing, and storage. You will naturally keep clutter at a minimum when you have turned your area into a more functional system.
The Arm’s Length Rule
A good way to approach your office is to think in terms of the Arm's Length Rule: simply put, what’s at arm’s length should have an immediate purpose. You certainly don't need to be surrounded by extra coffee cups or paper piles. A completely simplified setup typically includes a computer, phone, a couple of pens, a notebook, a lamp, and a family photo. Other items can be relegated to non-immediate "zones."
Paper & pens
Employees can categorize paperwork into a few piles, such as one for “to do” lists so that important tasks can be jotted down onto a master list. You probably don’t need all the pens in your office. 247inktoner.com founder Calvin Yu suggests getting rid of any of them that are promotional items. Keep only the best pens, especially refillable ones.
Phone keypads, calculators & keyboards
You want to clean up any of these items but also make sure that they themselves aren’t too dusty. For instance, clear everything out of the spaces between your keyboards. Use an air duster and cotton swabs.
Computers & monitors
When you clean the screen of your computer or other devices, green cleaning specialist Marie Steigner recommends shutting it down and using a damp microfiber cloth. You don’t want to use an antibacterial wipe, or anything else containing acetone or alcohol. Those substances can damage the protective coating on the screen.
Desks & counters
You can use disinfecting wipes to clean the surfaces. Baby wipes are an alternative in a pinch. Wipe the mouse, mouse pad, and desk phone. Keep some of these handy for immediate cleanup of a sticky coffee spill.
Time to Improve the Look of Your Office?
Cleaning and organizing your office is just one way to improve your environment for better employee satisfaction and productivity. Stylish, high-end furniture can also be extraordinarily impactful. At Beaux-Arts Group, we do more than sell furniture. We understand space. View our portfolio.