We spend a lot of time in the office. While 35 hours a week is the average, that’s a far cry from the reality for most teachers, entrepreneurs, and business owners. Despite how much time we spend in them, our offices often reflect a utilitarian, cold, even neglected attitude. We’re so busy solving problems at work that when we’re done for the day, the last thing we think to do is stick around and spruce things up. However, if you can give a bit of attention to your space just one time, it will deliver dividends back to you in the form of your energy levels every day after.

 

PULL YOUR STUFF TOGETHER, MAN!

The rule is the same for everyone I work with, and in every room I work with: Don’t split things up.

On the macro level: Pull your office supplies into one room. Our office supplies have a way of ending up in kitchens, dining rooms, living rooms, and even bedrooms! Get them into your workspace.

On the micro level: Pull all your office supplies into categories. Depending on your work, these categories will vary, but if you ever have trouble finding things, this trick will work wonders. Want to find a post-it? There’s only one place they can be: The post-it place. Need a paperclip? Those are in the paperclip place.

 

ORGANIZE WITH INTENTION

As you freshen things up, it helps to keep a few things in mind:

  1. Eye levels. Position your most aesthetically pleasing things where they will be most appreciated. Where do your eyes land when you enter your workspace? How about from your desk chair? Is there a chair for guests? What’s the view from there like? This is great opportunity to bring in art that reflects your current taste, symbols of great achievements or milestones, or plants to inject some life force into the space.
  2. Frequency of use. How often you use something should dictate how easy it is to reach. I advise keeping work surfaces as clear as possible, and therefore, things should be easy to take out and put back from wherever they are stored. A classic organizer trick is “file style” storage.  Rather than stacking things on top of other things, organizers often turn things on their sides to narrow them down as well as make the entire inventory visible. I love to do this with stationery, hard drives, and obviously, files.
  3. New habit formation. Do you want to make more calls? Put your phone station front and center. Would you like to meditate before you start your workday? Place your meditation pillow on your desk chair at the end of the day. Want to journal more? Place it on your computer keyboard after you shut down your computer each night.

 

TUNE UP YOUR TOOLS

Take a moment to scan the tools you use. What is your first thought about each one? Does the printer make you think of that scene from Office Space? Is there a funny smell in the mini fridge? Are your pens leaking all over that old chipped mug you have them in?

We all know how little annoyances can add up and, ultimately, slow us down. Using higher quality tools delivers higher quality results. If you only use one incredible pen that is inviting to touch and writes like silk, you will write more.

Figure out what energy you want more of, then upgrade your tools to match.

 

At the end of a workday, it feels amazing to close the laptop, click off the light, and leave it all behind. Whatever state the office is in, there’s always tomorrow, right? I encourage you: Don’t wait for tomorrow. Follow these steps and let tomorrow be the day you walk into your office to find it more dynamic and more energizing than ever before. For 35 hours every week, you’ll be glad you did.