Highly Stressed at Work? Maximize Your Workspace

Highly stressed at work?  Never able to get ahead of the mounting work on your desk.  Losing things?  Up late wondering where that report on your desk went you had ready to deliver to your boss?

SUBJECT:  The pace in the workplace is getting faster each day.  Being organized and lessens your stress load.

PROBLEM:  Managing the clutter on your desk provides improves physical and mental performance.

SOLUTION:  Commit to eliminating clutter and follow through on a plan to maximize your work area efficiency.



FACT:  Did you know most people average a loss of close to 18 hours each month looking for lost paper?

IMPACT:  This can add stress, impact focus and your ability to think out of the box.

Concerned about that first impression?  Want to move up in the organization?  Nearly 60 percent of western workers admit they judge their peers by the cleanliness of their work area.

Fortune Magazine Research documented the average executive can lose 360 hours of productivity annually just seeking out lost material.  Customer satisfaction is the lifeblood of any organization.  The greatest issue that businesses (especially small to medium sized) face is their inability to efficiently manage paperwork.

Companies are doing more with less these days.  That is not going away any time soon.  The reaction of many is to jump from one task to the next and put out fires as they creep up.  Some days there seem to be more fires than others.  Many days people take work home thinking about the tasks of the day.  Then, suddenly at 11:34 PM you awaken because you remembered where you left that report you were to deliver to your boss.  Stressed?  Want more time?  Manage your clutter and take control of your life back.

Working in a clean and tidy working environment means you are less likely to be distracted by objects cluttering up your workspace, so a cleaner workspace increase your ability to focus.

So what can be done?

  1. Decrease paper reliance: Many companies have gone paperless. Managing clutter also includes managing your virtual environment. Consider this if you are going paperless.  Paperless will take a deliberate plan and commitment.  This will minimize the amounts of paper building on your desk and allow you to sort quickly if they are electronic.
  2. De-clutter: Look at items you use daily and weekly.  Keep daily items closest to you, weekly close but just out of reach. Items you are uncertain, let them sit.  If you have no need for them, either store them remotely or get rid of them.
  3. Use smaller desk: A smaller workspace will allow you to maintain focus and have in front of you only what you need.  It will to a large degree help you use your organized area close by more efficiently.

These recommendations are credited in large part to a system of cleanliness used in lean organizations called 5s.  This is a Japanese methodology used to help clear waste, improve productivity, and boost efficiency by minimizing errors. This is a thought process which requires commitment.  The five phases include Seiri (Sort), Seiton (Set in order), Seiso (Shine, clean up), Seiketsu (Standardize), and Shitsuke (Sustain).

Follow this system to keep you focused.  Maintaining a clutter free desk will require commitment.  It is easy to go back to old habits.  Get a few peers to do this with you and share your experiences.  This will help keep you committed.

Phillip Tanzilo, MBA, MHRM, CPLP is an award-winning performance consultant and speaker specializing in employee engagement, business strategy and change management.