Picture this. You’re sitting down at your desk, getting ready to work. You look around your workspace, and all of your motivation disappears and work time turns into a Netflix binge. Why is this? How do you fix this issue?
1. Working in the Dark
Bad lighting is hard on your eyes and makes it much more difficult to focus on your work. Make sure you have a good lamp and use it. A good lamp is not too intense, but bright enough to focus! Check out this article on different lamps for moods. There is a list of good lamps to boost your mood, as well as lamps for the evening before bed and focus friendly lamps! If you are able to place your desk where you get natural light, that is the best. Sunlight is a mood booster and is usually a very ideal level of brightness. It’s not too harsh and not too soft.
2. Refusing to Purchase Supplies You Like
Office supplies are a necessary accessory for your desk. For example, if you don’t have pens that you actually like to use, you are not going to want to use them. If you have to constantly get up to find a stapler every time you sit down to do work, it’ll get hard to stay focused.
A good pen will do wonders for your planning, writing and feeling of productivity. Target is my favorite place to find office supplies! They have so many cute and functional supplies. My all-time favorite pens to use are the Sharpie pens; they don’t bleed much, and they don’t smear easily. The Pilot G2 pens are another great option if you like the retractable or “click-y” pens. And, of course, you can’t forget the Papermate Flair pens that are great for color coding and using to write your headings on notes. For sticky notes, Target has some cute girly options and some fun options, but you also can’t go wrong with standard Post-It sticky notes!
3. Piling Up Stacks and Stacks of Paper
Those stacks of paper cluttering your desk? Get rid of them. It’s just clutter that doesn’t give you room to work.
My favorite way to get through papers is to make three piles: One pile is trash, one is to file and one is to work on. Sort everything into these groups. Now, immediately throw away or recycle the trash pile; shred anything if you need to. File the papers that need to be filed, and for the papers that contain to-dos, grab a pad of sticky notes and write down what needs to be done with that paper and stick it on there.
Now, find a place to put the “to work on” papers. I personally like to use magazine storage containers, but you could also use a tray. Anything that keeps everything neat and tidy works.
4. Using Your Desk as a Landing Space
It is so easy to throw your stuff down on your desk when you walk in the door and use it as a landing space. Try to avoid it! The clutter will build up very quickly. My solution to this? A catch-all basket at the door. It doesn’t completely rid you of clutter, but it is all contained and it isn’t all over your desk tampering with your productivity.
5. Tempting Yourself with Junk Food
Uh oh. See that chip bag? Mindless eating is no good for your health. It also doesn’t help you focus. Keeping healthy snacks at your desk, but out of sight, is best. Certain foods will help you focus and be more productive.
For example, blueberries can be great for memory as well as focus. Nuts and dark chocolate are a great snack as well. I know it is easy to sip on energy drinks to try and focus, but green tea is the best option. It has enough caffeine to perk you up as well as vitamins and antioxidants. So, toss that junk food!
6. Leaving a Mess of Electric Cords
Cords create a visual clutter that can be distracting, depending on your preferences. There are several different options to help with this (and you can find lots more all over Pinterest!).
For cords that you don’t have to ever unplug or take somewhere else, this option with a PVC pipe is awesome to tuck away those hideous wires. This command hook trick is great for lamps or coffee pots. My favorite and most dorm friendly option is this DIY shoe box with holes for cords. It allows easy access as well as the option to tuck the cords back in the box when you aren’t using them.
7. Letting the Few Random Scraps Become Millions of Scraps
Random paper scraps, wrappers, and other junk often clutter my desk. Try your best to keep that at bay by giving yourself adequate storage and having a trash can nearby. Dusting your desk off once or twice a week can also help a lot. That way, you have to keep all those other cluttered items off of your desk, and it’ll get rid of the scraps of paper and other things.
What items often clutter your desk? Do you have any must have items for productivity?