Ergonomics, space and organizing tips

I believe your workspace setup is one of the most important factors of your daily productivity and overall functionality.

First, start by taking inventory of the desktop supplies you rely on regularly.

This list will vary for everyone, and a great example of how important our workspace surface is.

When using a desktop computer, typically we have multiple monitors to take into consideration. I highly suggest investing in (or building) monitor stands since this is one of the largest items on your desk.

Monitor stands improve viewing angle, posture and create unique storage solutions.

Store-bought options have improved greatly compared to original designs of a couple of inches tall and pull out drawers big enough for a few push-pins and paper clips.

Also, many people have transitioned to an adjustable unit allowing you to sit or stand.

I’ve customized several desktop stands to accommodate versions of monitors and number of screens used. My latest version was a simple, open-bottom shelf. I made sure both were tall enough to accommodate a majority of priority desktop items. This kept everything within reach, under and along side the monitors, while keeping remaining surfaces clutter-free.

I used items I had, such as mini silicone baking molds, plant pots and decorative vases for fun pops of color and variation from the basic office supplies. I figured, as much as I use these random things, I might as well have some fun. This is a great example of making use of the things you own.

What about drawers, shelves and overhead compartments? Do you have any of those?

Some office designers forgot to take in consideration our personal effects. Where do you store your coat, purses, sweaters/blankets and the oh-so-important snacks?

I try to be prepared for my daily routine, and take into account all the little things that make me comfortable.

Essentially, “I move in” and get “settled.”

What about you?

Do you have a place for all of the items that get you though the day?

What challenges do you face when trying to designate a spot for your personal effects?

Here are some steps to help you simplify and maximize your workspace:

• Write down or create a document, listing everything you have on your work surface or visible shelves.

• Open all of your drawers, cabinets, overheads.

• Add to your listing, everything you have stored within these spaces.

• Think about items you just documented. It’s time to prioritize what you use.

• On your list, highlight the items you can do without. (I find we usually have more than what we need at the workplace.)

• Once you have mentally evaluated what you have, it’s time to pull those random things that have overstayed their welcome and purge. This applies to paper files, too.

Now that you have cleared up some valuable space, let’s take another look at what your left with:

• It might be helpful to create another listing of you newly prioritized items.

• Can you group things together? Did you find hidden treasures in various locations? What about pens or other small pieces scattered throughout?

• I suggest checking around your office or home for unused small boxes and trays to contain these small items in one designated location.

This is a process that will continue to improve for you. Keep tabs of the items you use and where they are located. This is a time saving method that will enable you to become more organized, efficient and the envy of your co-workers.