For a significant number of my executive coaching clients, regardless of their industry, the question of how to maximize productivity and organization comes up at some point during our time working together. Creating a workspace that enhances productivity is one key action step that a number of clients have taken that has resulted in them increasing their ability to take consistent strategic action toward their goals. Here are a few strategies that have worked well for clients.
1) Create an easily accessible visual reminder of priorities or strategic goals
Though some individuals prefer to use Google Docs, Google Calendars, mind maps, or other online tools to track major goals, a number of my clients have a visual reminder of their top goals within their homes. Here are a few options that clients have used in the past:
- A vision board hung up on a wall or on a table
- A whiteboard close to a desk with top goals or action steps
- A paper desk calendar with top goals or action steps
- A flipchart with top daily or monthly goals or action steps
2) Find the right location to work from if you work from home
Our home has a number of options to work from. I can work outside, at the dinner table, in kids' rooms, in our room, in the living room, downstairs, or upstairs. However, I have noticed that there are locations that I'm most productive working from and others that I'm not. I also tend to play classical music, inspirational music, or gospel music, or sometimes prefer silence to help me focus no matter where I am. I've noticed that my clients also have areas in their homes that increase productivity and other areas in their homes that reduce productivity. Identify what spaces increase or decrease your ability to focus.
3) Remove clutter that doesn't lend itself to your productivity
There is research that shows that clutter can actually contribute to creativity and for individuals like me, I find it decreases my feelings of peace and productivity. The more I clear my workspace, the more I feel productive, peaceful, and clear about my next steps. If you're like me, you may want to remove most things except the essentials from your desk area especially if they can't fit in desk drawers or in a desk organizer on your desk. As I mentioned in this Redfin article about maximizing space in a smaller-sized home, "Recycling, scanning, or distributing extra items that take up too much space around areas such as a desk can create the mental space needed for greater productivity." Every Sunday evening, I organize my desk in preparation for the week ahead, and it makes a big difference in how I feel going into the work week!
Here's a picture of my desk area for inspiration:
I hope the tips that I included in this article are helpful to you as you look to create your own workspace that maximizes your productivity!
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