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by | Jan 29, 2018

Decide to Declutter

So, it’s late January. Those New Year’s resolutions are hanging by a thread at this point – you broke your “Drynuary” commitment with that glass of wine (ok, two) last week. The plan to start eating better and focus on health and wellness started out well enough, but that orange you brought to work two weeks ago is now starting to resemble a classroom science experiment, mocking you as it ages on your desk.

Speaking of your desk, how’s it looking? You probably cleaned it off pretty well before the break, with the intention of keeping it that way throughout the upcoming year. But maybe things are starting to pile up again, a small tower of files and binders and loose papers that will soon take the shape of Vancouver’s skyline.

There are in fact a few good reasons to keep this clean resolution going, however. There’s no shortage of evidence online that indicates keeping a clutter-free workspace is actually really good for you.

A few items caught our eye in particular: a survey conducted by a global staffing firm showed that 57% of employees judged their co-workers by how clean (or messy) they kept their desk; and Fast Company sums it up nicely from a scientific perspective: “The more stuff you have around you, the more each piece of stimulation competes for “neural representation”– that is, your attention.” This in turn impacts your ability to handle stress and be productive.

So your productivity drops as your clutter increases. And your next promotion – or at least how you’re perceived day-to-day – might hinge in part on your capacity for clutter. If you’re aiming to make 2018 your year, being less stressed, more productive, and more popular at work seems like a great way to go about it.

There is plenty of great info on employee wellness programs that focus on all aspects of the workspace – including proper ergonomics and workspace design, items that are always near and dear to our heart.

But for now, we’ve compiled our top tips to de-clutter and make 2018 your most productive year yet:

  • Stop holding onto things you don’t need. Be ruthless. The printout of that powerful presentation you created in 2015 is, well, so 2015. Off to the shredder it goes.
  • Clutter is contagious. But so is cleaning up. Spend a good half hour once every few months cleaning up your digital workspace, and you might be surprised at how it spreads to your physical space too.
  • Clean up your desk every evening. Five minutes a day before you leave is all it takes, and the mental freedom it provides when you leave and when you come back in the morning is remarkable. You’ll feel on top things from the get-go each morning.
  • Get a bigger desk. It’s true that for some of us, no amount of throwing away stuff will be enough to reduce our cluttered desk or overstuffed cabinet. If you’ve ever been crammed into sharing a room with a sibling too long or tried to work out in a packed gym, you know the feeling.

The work we do might simply require more space, and in this case the only solution is to go big or go home. If your overall office space permits, a larger desk or bigger office furniture will help give everything its proper place. If this sounds like you, we’d be happy to create a great solution for you – feel free to get in touch at 604-688-6655.

Keep in mind, this is only a short, humble list. We’d love to hear what you recommend to combat clutter – you can leave your top tips in the comment section below.