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     Making Your Workspace Work

Once an afterthought, people who spend time at a desk have come to recognize the benefits of creating an ergonomic, EFFICIENT workspace. Whether you’re spending time at a desk at home or at an office, a comfortable, well thought out space can go a long way towards making you feel more productive. Here’s a few tips to get the process started:

Think about the FUNCTIONS that you’ll be doing at your desk. Analyze what you do in a day, and make sure that your desk or workstation will be able to ACCOMODATE your needs. Will you have lots of cables running from a computer and other equipment? Choose a desk with built-in cable management and an adjustable keyboard drawer. Will you be doing a lot of paperwork or making scrapbooks? You’ll want a desk with lots of flat space so that you can spread out.

Planning your storage in advance can result in significant time savings later. Group the things you need to store into CATEGORIES (office supplies, filing, books, inventory, etc.), and then measure the items. That way you can determine just how much SPACE you’ll need for storage. Decide what type of storage (a desk hutch, bookcase, freestanding shelves, drawer unit, etc.) makes sense for the space you have available and the amount of storage that you need.

Based on the information you just gathered, develop a storage plan. Make a MAP of the shelves or drawers, and assign items to each shelf or drawer in a way that makes sense for you. Keep more frequently-used items closer, and place infrequently used items higher up or down lower –- away from the “prime real estate” of eye-level storage. Make sure to leave EXTRA space in your plan for items you’ll purchase in the future. According to the storage plan that you just created, arrange your items on the shelves or in the drawers. Containerize smaller items as necessary.

For many people, a desk or workspace doesn’t feel right until they DECORATE it in some way. Personalizing your space can go a long way towards making you feel more at home and productive. The key here is to not go overboard and CLUTTER up your desk with mementos, photos, and personalized mugs. Instead of dozens of personal items, choose and display a few that really mean something to you. Monthly, swap your mementos for others that have special meaning –- that way, you’ll get to honor your treasured items, while also keeping your space clutter-free!

Working at home or work at the office can be more comfortable and PRODUCTIVE than you previously may have thought. By implementing a few of these simple tips, spending time at your workspace can be a pleasure!


Joshua Zerkel, Productivity Strategist, is a Certified Professional Organizer and the founder of Custom Living Solutions, the San Francisco Bay Area’s premier productivity and organizing consulting firm. Josh is also the 2008-2010 President of the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the National Association of Professional Organizers.

Josh specializes in helping entrepreneurs and small businesses find easy ways to get control of their space, information, time, and technology so they can reduce stress and boost their productivity. Josh has been featured in various media, including CBS News, ABC News, the San Francisco Chronicle and Examiner, Organize Magazine, Online Organizing, and many others, is a regular columnist on the Franklin Covey website, and co-hosts the “Thrive Solutions” radio show on Thrive in Balance.

Josh is also a popular organizing instructor in the San Francisco business community, speaking to small and large companies about the different techniques they can use to optimize efficiency and productivity in their work environment so they can serve more clients and make more money. Although he doesn’t consider himself freakishly organized, Josh does admit to spending some of his free time alphabetizing his comic books and fixing the tags on his MP3 collection.

For more of Josh’s practical (and sometimes pithy!) organizing tips, sign up for the Custom Living Solutions newsletter at www.customlivingsolutions.com or call 415-830-6345.

Connect with Josh on:

Facebook: http://companies.to/customlivingsolutions

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/joshuazerkel

Twitter: https://twitter.com/joshuazerkel

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