Marie Kondo, the best-selling guru of organization and “sparking joy” has established the foundation of getting a space organized and functional. Her do-it-all-once method, known as the KonMari Method, is considered healthy and life-altering for those seeking organization and productivity in their space. One of the ideal places to organize is the home office especially for doctors, nurses and medical professionals who have reading, studying and research to do. You can increase your productivity tri-fold by spending just a few hours organizing and decluttering your space. A short investment in organizing your office can give you tremendous return on your productivity.
The simple approach to decluttering following the KonMari method is to “only keep items around you that spark joy.” Kondo explains that “joy” occurs in consideration of the role an object plays in your life. Relating this to the office space, she explains “When your office space is organized, it will result in increased efficiency because your use of time becomes much more productive,” she says. Also, “You’ll be much more comfortable in your office space, and that contributes to your overall performance and your creativity — that’s some of the feedback I get from people that have implemented the KonMari method in their workspace.”
Why organizing your home office will increase your productivity and some helpful tips on getting it done
1. Organized workspaces help you articulate your schedule and remember important tasks
When you have a well-organized workspace, it becomes easier to properly articulate your work schedule and prepare your itinerary effectively. This way, you can easily plan your work or study schedule for each day, outline and position it in front of your workstation and easily recall them when necessary. One important task of all medical professionals is to deliver projects, complete a MKSAP chapter, or finish a research project on time without being distracted. Having a less cluttered workspace means you have a spacious environment to think, which increases your productivity and makes you more efficient. It also helps with time management and keeping track of important tasks.
2. An organized workspace enhances creativity
Sometimes, the best way to invent and develop a great idea is to start with a clean and properly arranged workspace. Research has shown this is how some of the greatest thinkers start their idea process. Following the psychology behind the KonMari method, once you remove things that don’t “spark joy,” you are invariably removing stuff that will limit your brain’s creative ability. Things that bring us happiness or spark joy, have a way of sparking creativity as well.
3. A clean workspace communicates professionalism
At a work office, keeping your workspace clean and decluttered helps to communicate to your potential patients and business partners that you have a strong sense of responsibility and also speaks volumes about your professionalism. Your clean workspace is often what patients interact with before they interact with you and it may have an impact on their decisions to work with you. If people get the notion that your workspace is untidy, they may conclude that your work may be cluttered as well.
4. With less clutter comes more relaxation and less stress
A cluttered workspace is a pain in the gluteus maximus (ah, good old anatomy days!). When searching for any item, you have to go through heaps of irrelevant stationery and paperwork which can leave you frustrated and slow down your work efficiency. It can have a compound effect on increased stress and make your work seem more difficult. As Marie Kondo says, “There’s a saying that a messy room equals a messy mind.” With less clutter in your workspace, you open up space to think, move fast and make locomotion (hey microbio!) much easier for yourself. It can be a fun, stress-free and pleasant experience to be at your desk once it’s organized and you know exactly where everything is located.
Some useful tips for organizing your home office
Start with the area you use the most. Starting is often the hardest part of organizing. When you don’t know where to start, always start with the area you tend to use the most. For example, if taking notes on a call is the most used space, then tackle that section first. Once you get that out of the way then you can move on to areas that you don’t use as often.
Use minimal furniture. Replace clunky desks with sturdy shelves to hold your essentials like computers and books. Ikea or other minimalist furniture can be your friend here.
Save space with a monitor stand organizer. A monitor stand with drawer features can save space and help you stay organized.
Tackle all paper. The amount of paperwork can become a problem for most professionals. An office can get cluttered and disorganized very fast if proper storage solutions are not in place.
Clear your message board consistently. Whenever you execute set tasks, clear your schedule or message board for new tasks.
Use cable clips. Organize your desk and avoid tangled cables and wires with simple and practical cable clips.
Labels, labels, and more labels. Labeling items is a huge time saver. Labeling drawers, bins, and containers help by giving everything a set place to be stored. It saves time when looking for items and also to know where everything goes when storing it to its proper space.
Place items in ways where you can see them. One consistent theme of home organization is to place items in boxes or storages facing you so that you can see each item and can easily access them.
Visit the Container Store. This is the go-to place for all things home organization; they have great storage solutions including boxes, bins, and units to help you tidy up and stay organized.
Reward yourself. The most important step is to reward yourself. Cleaning is hard — we all know that; so don’t forget to take a break. Take care of your home but remember to take care of yourself.
Know when to delegate/have help. Cleaning can be easier when done as a team. Find someone who can keep you accountable, whether it’s your significant other, a friend or a professional organizer. Organizational professionals are experts who can help you quickly declutter and figure out optimal storage configurations for your home office. Understand that you don’t need to do it all on your own and that its OK to ask for help.
Productivity is best explained as doing more with the same resources and the limited time that you have today. Optimizing your work area can lead to significant benefits with efficiency, productivity, and well-being.
Dewan Farhana is founder and CEO, Betternest.
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