Did you know that organizing your workspace can play a physiological role in your daily productivity and overall health? A messy desk or office environment could very well be the cause of deeper issues in life. As we covered in my last blog, disorganization in one area of life usually leads to disorganization in multiple areas and often creates greater overall stress.
According to researchers at NEC-Mitsubishi, a computer-monitor manufacturer, many office workers are suffering from IDS, irritable desk syndrome (IDS), which can cause chronic pain, loss of productivity and other physical and mental symptoms. IDS is actually a sickness associated with working long hours at a cluttered desk (often with poor posture, as well). In a recent study of 2,000 office workers, researchers found that:
• 40 percent said they were “infuriated by too much clutter and paper on their desks but could not be bothered to do anything about it.”
• 35 percent said they had back or neck pain because they knowingly had poor posture or an awkward position while at their desk.
“What most individuals fail to realize is that desk symptoms typically escalate very quickly, from persistent discomfort to chronic pain, which can end a person’s career and reduce their quality of life in a wide range of ways,” said Nigel Robertson, researcher and noted “deskologist.”
Other studies have stated that working at a cluttered desk is less time-effective and often results in devoting excess time and attention to finding what they need, before they even get to their regular assignments.
“Studies have shown that the person who works with a messy desk spends, on average, one and a half hours per day looking for things or being distracted by things. That’s seven and a half hours per week,” says time-management speaker and consultant Dr. Donald E. Wetmore.
Of course, the antithesis of this syndrome is the person who spends excess time organizing too much. The key? Balance. Here are a few tips to getting started on a de-cluttered work/office environment.
Start with one drawer at a time and take everything out before trying to organize it. You may have papers, files, or documents that are useless and just cluttering your space. As you begin adding things back to your drawers, be strict about what makes the cut back into the drawer. Your office is your sanctuary of productivity. Don’t let just ANYTHING be accepted into the drawer or in your office as a whole.
By organizing your “inner office”, or what people DON’T see, you will begin to actual increase inner peace and be more passionate about cleaning up the areas that people DO see. Now that your inner office is in order, clean off your desk or counters completely, removing all pictures, notes, papers, etc. Once you have a clean slate, only add the essentials back to your space. If you are a picture lover, make sure that your pictures are organized, well displayed, and appropriate for your environment. Your desk and home will be a reflection of your life. A clean desk, for example, is often a sign of a clear mind.
Now that your inner and outer office space is clean and de-cluttered, choose wisely what you allow to take up space in the future. When new papers come into your room, read them and determine if they are to be taking up space or hitting the bottom of the trash can immediately. Open your mail and read it. Experts say that a major amount of office clutter comes from items we intend to get to at a later date that never end up being addressed.
You can eliminate needless stress by labeling your space. For example, if you have a file or box that is labeled “IMMEDIATE ATTENTION”, that means that anything in that box gets your attention before the end of the day. Before you go home, look through the box and make sure you have completed the items of high priority. Have a space set aside for essential items. For example, by eliminating that mad scramble for your keys or any other item, you’ve spared yourself loads of unnecessary anxiety. Save yourself this precious energy and give your space labeled boundaries.
As a highly sought after speaker, thought leader, author and singer/songwriter, Staci Wallace’s messages of uncompromising boldness and truth equip leaders to be sent into the marketplace as the hands and feet of Jesus. With over 10 years in Executive Corporate Leadership, 15 in global ministry and 29 years in raising networks into the hundreds of thousands in direct sales, Staci's desire is to support the local church and resource leaders with tools and teams that equip leaders and send them to the four corners of the earth. Her distinctions in business success have enabled her to share the stage with five U.S. Presidents and many other high profile leaders of this generation as well as to be a featured life coach for he featured "Life Coach" for such shows as KTHV's Morning Show, NBC, ABC, FOX and is the current host of the "Warrior DNA" Live Broadcasts.