Whether you’re an entrepreneur or someone working remotely, it’s possible you don’t have a traditional workspace or hold standard work hours. Maybe you don’t even have an actual desk and work from a new location every single day.
No matter where you work, a cluttered workspace is distracting and can seriously inhibit your productivity. There are some very simple things that could be hampering the way you work. Here are six ways to take your virtual office from a disruptive work environment to a productive powerhouse.
Limit your smartphone time.
The average person in the U.S. checks their phone 52 times a day. It’s no wonder we’re addicted. We receive notifications non-stop from our calendars, emails, texts, and when our great aunts comment on our selfies on Facebook. But you still need to be reachable. Set custom schedules within your virtual phone system to route your calls elsewhere during specific times of day.
Going virtual means you probably don’t have clunky file cabinets sitting around and these days there are very few reasons to have piles of paper in your workspace. Everything is online and paper only adds to clutter. Having unnecessary paper on your desk leads to disorder and inevitably affects your ability to focus on the present task. Save some trees and file away important documents where they belong — in the cloud.
Organize your computer desktop.
It’s just as important to keep your digital workspace in order, and there are tools aplenty to help you achieve an enviable level of efficiency. Use a cloud-based tool to file and organize all your documents. Google Drive is a robust free option, and Box is another great choice.
Take control of your inbox.
The little window that pops up on your screen every time you receive an email is super distracting. Try closing your email for a couple of hours at a time. Another way to reduce virtual clutter is to check out tools like Unroll.me that make it easier to weed out unwanted emails.
Close browser windows you’re not using.
Do you have approximately one zillion browser tabs open right now? You’re busy, we get it. However, studies show that our brains are not as great at multitasking as we think and having multiple tabs and programs open affects our ability to get things done. If you must have access to those extra tabs, try a tool like OneTab which converts all open tabs into a single page of bookmarks.
Keep your physical workplace simple.
Eliminate any gadgets or decor that don’t serve a purpose. Even clocks and desk toys can be distracting. All you need is a place to sit or stand your computer, a few basic supplies, and maybe a little (or a lot of) caffeine.
Productivity levels go beyond the desk, especially for those who don’t have a physical desk. If you have a non-traditional office, organization is a priority, not only for productivity but also to prevent errors.
Remember, a clear desk means a clear mind. It’s time to optimize your space to amp up your productivity by getting your space whipped into shape.