Finance News & Insights

Spring cleaning: 3 hacks to optimize your space, increase productivity

It’s no secret that the more organized you are, the more productive you are, too.

And there are ways you can give your space added structure – allowing you to focus more attention on important tasks.

Small fixes with big benefits

Try these tricks to create a workspace with structure, courtesy of business expert Neil Patel:

1. Add a “catch-it space.” Everyone needs a place to catch incoming items, Patel says. He highlights three main kinds of items that get dropped on your desk:

  • important documents
  • personal items (jacket, coffee mug, etc.), and
  • trash.

So, your catch-it space should include:

  • a tray(s) for documents
  • a shelf, hooks or a box for personal items, and
  • a trashcan.

To take your catch-it space up a notch, Patel recommends using a two-tray system for incoming paper.

Label the first tray “NEW,” and use it for unopened or unread documents that you can tackle whenever you have time. (Since employees will know exactly where papers go, it could help cut down on interruptions, too.) Label the second tray “OLD,” and fill it with documents you’ve opened but still need to file, approve, etc. at a later time.

2. Create two zones. Having zones, even if that just means swiveling your chair to another area of your desk, allows you to mentally and physically separate tasks. That’s why Patel uses separate zones for computer work and non-computer work.

In your computer zone, you’re honed into the digital – creating reports, managing records, answering emails. Your non-computer zone may still be close to your desktop, but should be clear of monitors, cords and chargers. This is where you go when you need to sign documents, authorize expenses – anything that doesn’t require your hands on the keyboard.

3. Make the most of drawers. Reality is, you need some items on your desk. Post-its, pens, a calculator, a stapler. What’s important is having a place out of sight to put them all, Patel says.

The most logical place, of course, is your desk drawers. Grab a few more trays or organizers to set each item in its own “home.” That way items aren’t cluttering up your desk space, but are easily accessible whenever you need them.

Tip: It’s the prime time to promote a little spring cleaning in Finance! As you implement these tactics in your own office, pass them along to your staff to boost their organization and productivity, too.

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