Personal items and time management at work

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

People’s workspace approach vary – some need to get settled into their space, while others can adapt to anything on the fly. This might translate into your overall desk appearance, how you display items and the time it takes to find things.

Regardless of your personality type, everyone can benefit from thinking about their personal items within the workplace.

As you begin your workday, think about what you bring with you: Coffee, water, soda, breakfast, lunch, snacks, laptop, purse, coat, winter boots/shoes, umbrella and security card to name a few.

I think we can agree, we all have a lot of personal items to consider before starting our work day. The amount of time to do so reflects on your time management skills and personal organization.

When you plan for all of the elements that make up your day, you will have more success and a better outlook on what’s to come. This begins the moment you walk in the door or approach your at-home-desk. Is there a connection between “morning people” and “organized individuals”? Ponder that one for a second.

A “routine” includes all of your steps. A huge factor is having a place to put everything.

When you head to the company refrigerator, and find there is absolutely zero space, does that affect your outlook? What about a quick zap to your drink or breakfast in the microwave, and is there a line to do so? Little challenges and delays can potentially disrupt your momentum.

Simple changes to improve your time management skills before arriving to work can greatly improve your productivity.

• Waking up a little earlier to allow time for breakfast at home could be a starting point.

• Purchase a different lunch bag/cooler to resolve the issue of limited fridge space.

• Clear out a drawer to make room for your personal items. This also gives you the opportunity to evaluate and declutter items in those areas.

These are all simple tips to improve your workspace and mood, allowing you to focus on your job and performance.

Now that you’ve considered things you bring with you on a daily basis, think about what resides at your desk long-term.

Your personal items can positively or negatively influence you and your co-workers.

Let’s start with photos on display. How are they organized? Are they current? How do they make you feel? Pick up or make a large photo frame to create a collage of current photos. Replacing pictures gives you the opportunity to reflect on those moments while staying current.

Are you the type who likes knickknacks?

Do you feel the workplace is appropriate to display those? Unfortunately, things can be very distracting and potentially take up valuable space for your work related papers and items. This is something to consider when you share a workspace due to cross training or coverage.

Customizing your workspace is very important and reflects who you are. We spend so much time at our workspace, so its great to feel comfortable.

Finding the balance to personalize your area while staying professional and productive is an ongoing effort and can ultimately improve your overall outlook.