Nothing like starting the year off with a fresh, shiny new work space! Am I right? A new year means new goals and what better way to kick off 2017 than with a desk space that will have you wanting to get the year off to a productive, practical and pro-active start, which for me, always stars with where I spend the bulk of my days – behind my desk!
With that, I’ve put together this desk guide, with five goals to help kick off your work year on the right foot!
1. Clear Out The Clutter
When you get rid of things that hold you back, you free yourself to fresh, new possibilities! Your desk space, whether it’s a desk in your own office at work (look at you, you fancy thing), a cubicle among fellow co-workers, or even your home office space, a clean, clutter free desk is the first step towards making you enjoy spending time there.
So, take a long, hard look at your current desk situation and assess every detail! Look at what you really need, as well as what you really don’t need to have sitting on your desk.
I’ve gone to the extreme with my desk organisation this year. I want a clean, clutter free space that allows me to think! I’ve put away all the little bits and pieces that I don’t need to have on my desk (yes ugly files, printers and other techie things, I’m talking to you) and included only the functional – yet still cute IMO – necessities. Everything else has been organised neatly into office cabinets, which frees up my desk space.
2. Organize & Re Organize
I’ve always worked well in a bit of “organised chaos”, but I’ve become an organising freak that no longer wants to be drowning in my work. There are a ton of cute storage concepts all over, and pinterest has so many ideas, that every situation you’re faced with can be organised in a functional and pretty way.
For me, my camera equipment needs to be easily accessible – all the time! So instead of having all of it piled on top my desk, or shoved into a drawer, I used a super cool wooden box (that even matches my desk), to store all my “gear”. You’ll see it right there in the left hand corner of my desktop. In there I keep my camera remotes, selfie sticks, lens filters, my flash and my smaller tripods so that I can get to them quickly. On top, I usually keep my DSLR (although I used it to shoot this pic haha) and then my lenses next to it.
That way, everything is out of the way, but I can get to it in a flash.
The other little wooden photo box is for all my notes, cards and photo booth pictures from events I attend – although I don’t NEED these, I like to keep them all. Next to that, my collection of colourful pencils, plus a scull pencil holder for my everyday pens. I like to keep my pretty books close for inspiration and I’ve added another desk organiser at the end to hold things like notebooks and scribbles of paper.
3. Stay Inspired
In 2015 I created my Glam & Gold Workspace setup and while I thought of changing up my “art work” a little this year, I still love the gold accents with exposed wood and so I’ve kept it going for 2017.
The beauty of this wall board (which I created using an old notice board), is that it’s fairly easy to switch it up, without having to paint the entire wall. After my gallery wall in my Durban office setup, my walls were wrecked and it was not a pretty sight when the pictures came down. Just something to bear in mind :).
Make your work space uniquely you and fill it with art and cute quotes that make you happy!
4. Detox & Take Control of Your Email
One of the most frustrating things for me is the amount of emails and message notifications that just keep piling up. No matter how pro active I am in getting to all of them, the little red number count never seems to go down.
While many of these mails are important, so, soooooo many of them are just plain junk! Half the time, it’s junk that I didn’t even sign up for – which annoys me even more, but what can you do! Spammers will be spammers!
Go through your inbox and unsubscribe from all mailing lists that annoy you. Set rules to categorise your mail so that you only get notifications you want.
I’ve also made a point this year to dedicate set times to my inbox instead of having it go wild on its own. I’ve de-activated ping notifications so that emails don’t interrupt me while I’m busy with something else, and instead, I’ll be checking my emails every couple of hours. I know it’s probably a backward way of thinking, but hey, I remember the days when no matter how urgent something was, if you called someone and they were unavailable, you left a message and waited for them to get back to you.
In my line of work, nothing is that urgent – by that I mean that if I don’t reply within seconds, nobody is going to fall off the face of the planet. Buildings aren’t going to collapse and the world will certainly continue to rotate.
So many times I’ve opened an email marked URGENT only for it to be nothing of importance! Just because the sender has left something they need to the very last second, doesn’t make it an urgent matter!
Emails, which are supposed to increase productivity, have actually made us less productive. Depending on your line of work of course, consider prioritising your actual work instead of your email. Every time you have to stop and check a message and reply it breaks your chain of thought and delays the task you were busy with in the first place.
Something to think about!
5. Give Your Desk a Break
Now this tip may seem unrelated to the other 4 – but believe you me, it’s probably THE MOST IMPORTANT point to think about and that is to give your desk a break and not spend too much time sitting!
This festive season my hubby had to have an emergency back operation that was both unexpected and one that we were totally unprepared for. After his surgery, it’s amazing how many times I heard friends, family and pretty much everyone, talk about spinal fusions and back operations – like they were as common as having a cold! Either they’ve had one, two or three themselves, or their family members or friends have had some or other back operation.
It’s scary! A back operation is a major thing! Trust me, MAJOR and you don’t want to be in that situation. EVER!
Part of the reason our backs are in such bad shape in todays day in age, is due to far too many hours spent sitting! My day job, like many I am sure, involves spending hours sitting behind a desk. The amount of pressure that sitting puts on your lower back is insane! It damages your vertebrae and while we can’t always avoid sitting at our desk to do our job, it’s important to remind yourself of the damage.
Make a conscious effort to get up and move, multiple times throughout the day!
Here’s an interesting fact for you to consider if you think you may be immune. My hubby has always been physically active; he’s a young, healthy man who is serious about exercising and his wellbeing, and yet his back had had enough! His job involves spending a lot time at his desk, and the rest, driving long distances. Both activities involve too many hours sitting. Despite him being a boxer and fitness freak, the strain on his back led him to have a spinal fusion.
Nothing is more important than your health! So look after yourselves.
I’ve purposefully moved my printer and all that jazz, far away from my desk, so that when I need to print something, I actually have to get up. Im going to make the effort to spend no more than one hour at my desk at a time. I know this may seam unrealistic at times, especially when I’m on a deadline (which is always it seems), but after seeing what my poor hubs has had to go through (both in terms of the actual operation and the weeks of agony post op) it’s a small price to pay!
Hope these five tips have inspired you gals to get your working year off, and if you have any more, I’d love to hear about them