Are you somebody who has a clean desk to work at? Or are you somebody who's office desk looks like a complete mess? Do you even bother to set time aside to keep your desk clean? For many people, office desk organization is something they don’t keep in mind while working. Sure, on days you’re swamped at work, you may end up having a pile of paperwork on your desk. But if it gets to the point where you’re not getting anything done, you may want to move some things around to make your workstation better.
Office desk organization: Your workspace needs a shower
When it comes to office desk organization, not everyone realizes how a disorganized workspace can slow them down. Some people don’t mind it if they need to keep things at their desk. But for those with cluttered offices, they’re wasting time if they’re spending a few minutes looking for something in particular. I used to be in those situations several times, and I didn’t like wasting all that time. That’s why I’ve done the best I can to keep my desk clean, leaving only a few things to reach out to quickly.
Fortunately, it’s easier these days to keep your workspace organized. Whether you’re working at the office or you have a dedicated spot at home, there are simple hacks that you can try out and practice. There are some hacks I wasn’t even aware of when I found out about them. They can surely come in handy when you need to stay focused on your priorities. For the remainder of this post, I will discuss eight desk hacks that you can start on today. The hacks include:
1.) Adding a plant
2.) Using a sunlight
3.) Using noise-canceling headphones
4.) Chewing gum
5.) Using a gaming keyboard
6.) Installing a notification-blocking app
7.) Keeping a blanket on hand
8.) Getting a stopwatch
Office Desk Organization
Hack # 1: Add a plant to your desk
The first hack may be an obvious tip for many people, but adding a plant can be very beneficial. According to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, being exposed to the color green can help you be more productive. Many offices have plants in place for good reasons. One of the reasons is to help workers be more productive, as one study shows a 15% increase in productivity. If being outside in nature is proven to be beneficial, then putting plants at or near your workspace can provide similar results.
How I’ve become more accustomed to plants
In previous years, I was never a fan of plants. I was naive to think they’re so annoying and unnecessary. But I’ve learned over time that we’re exposed to them for many reasons. I even have fake plants around my apartment to make my place more decorative. I don’t need to water them or anything like that. So I put one aside on one of my desks.
Hack # 2: Use a sunlamp/SAD light
Many studies throughout the years have shown natural sunlight to help stay focused. When it comes to working at the office (or at home), natural sunlight exposure is the best approach; for example, having your workspace near a window. But if you can’t get natural sunlight, looking into a sunlamp can be a great substitution. Not everybody can get natural sunlight, so you always have to look for other options available.
The sunlamp I use for my personal/workspace area
I’ve used a sunlamp (Verilux brand) for over the last year, and it’s helped tremendously. As someone who has seasonal affective disorder (SAD), it’s useful on cold, gloomy days outside, and I’m indoors most of the time. One of the first things I do after waking up is turning on the sunlamp for 30 minutes. Getting at least a half-hour of exposure gives me a jumpstart and start alert for my first few hours.
Hack # 3: Use noise-canceling headphones
Noise-canceling headphones can help block out distractions at work. Continuous noise at work may not be an issue for everybody, but for some, it can be a big distraction. Especially if it gets busy at the office, that’s the best time to use noise-canceling headphones. Even if you’re not listening to music or podcasts, wearing them can still help block unwanted noise when it’s needed the most.
My noise-canceling headphones
Usually, I don’t like wearing headphones at work. The reason is I want to hear people call my name if they need to see me. Now I could have my coworkers come out to me or tab me when they need me, but that’s not my preference. However, I do wear headphones at home to block out the noise in my apartment building. It helps a lot, especially if I don’t live in a sound-proof building. When I’m working on businesses at home, I like to stay focused as much as possible.
Hack # 4: Chew gum
Studies have shown gum can help improve concentration levels. It’s no wonder why I see a lot of people chewing gum at work. It’s one of those things that doesn’t matter much but can make a difference in helping you get more done. One person recommended sticking with a sugar-free gym. So keep a pack of peppermint gum at your desk to help with concentrating at work.
Hack # 5: Use a gaming keyboard
I’ve never been a big fan of gaming keyboards, but it can help with using quick shortcuts. The gaming keyboard provides more alternatives while working on the computer. They can help cut down on time when you’re completing tasks that are meant to be done quicker. One good tip to keep in mind is to personalize your keyboard- by remembering your hotkeys. That way, it’ll be quicker to memorize them down the road.
Hack # 6: Use a notification-blocking app
According to a study done by the University of British Columbia, people were not as stressed out when they checked their email less often. As a result, limiting their email check-ins led to an increase in productivity. When using a notification-blocking app, it can help avoid checking in on email or distracting websites. A best practice is to put new messages on hold until you’re ready to check them.
I’ve tried some of these apps in the past, and they’ve helped me stay focused when I needed to get work done. I find these apps to be life-savers. One of them is the Freedom app, which they’re offering a steep discount through the end of this month (April 2020). Check out their offer in the banner below!
Hack # 7: Keep a blanket/scarf on hand
Based on ergonomic studies done by Cornell University, warmer office temperatures have proven to make you more accurate and efficient. I never knew about that because some people work better in cooler office temperatures. But for others, keeping yourself warm (but not too hot or cozy) can hit the spot as well. So on those chilly days at the office, keep a blanket, scarf, or sweater in your desk drawer in case you need it.
Hack # 8: Get a stopwatch
Some additional research done by Cornell University found workers being more productive when they set reminders for breaks. Even if they’re shorter breaks, setting reminders to take them can be an excellent way to refresh your minds. It’s not good to work for extended periods, so something such as a stopwatch can be great to have on hand. So keep a stopwatch nearby your desk, and remember to set countdowns for each break you plan on taking.
There are many more hacks I can go over, but these are the best ones to pick out. Whether at the office or working at home, being at your desk all day is not easy. It can be hard to stay motivated and productive some days. So having these things on hand can be beneficial to keep you busy throughout your day. Whether it’s a stopwatch, gum, or a plant, these small things can make a difference in making the best of your workday. So give one of these hacks a try, and see if it’ll make a difference in your work routine. As I mentioned earlier, it’s time for your workspace to get a shower and freshen it up.
Which one of the hacks do you like from the list? Have you tried any of these desk hacks before?
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