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Decluttering my Workspace

By Issy Parry on Fri 24 May 2024 in Placement Blog

Decluttering my Workspace

Struggling to stay organised and productive at work? Discover the power of physical and mental decluttering with practical tips from Issy’s placement experience at ProspectSoft below.

Hi I’m Issy, one of the marketing placements at ProspectSoft. We are about to start the last three months of our placement and it has been a really brilliant experience so far! It has enabled me to develop so many new skills and expand my knowledge not only of marketing but B2B operations as a whole. There has been so many great opportunities that have been offered to me throughout the role and I’m sure there will be many more as we go into the final few months. One skill I have been able to really work on and prioritise is organisation and time management.

As a marketing placement, I have to be strict with deadlines to ensure that projects can run as intended and all go out on time to improve workflow. Additionally, organisation is key to making sure that there are no bottlenecks along the way and make sure I know what I need to get done and by when. At ProspectSoft we use a really great tool called Trello, a web-based, kanban-style, list-making application that helps the team stay on top of tasks and makes sure we are working at maximised productivity. This helps to help declutter tasks and lays out projects in a clear way so that everyone can review the progress and timelines. If you find it hard to stay organised and on top of things at work, this blog should help to assist you in great ways to declutter your workspace and make the most out of your spring clean! 

Why it’s important to declutter physically and mentally every so often?

Regular decluttering, both physically and mentally, is crucial for maintaining a balanced, productive, and healthy life. This is important not only for productive work, but also outside of the workplace too. It leads to improved focus, reduced stress, enhanced well-being, and greater overall life satisfaction. By making decluttering a regular practice, you can create a positive work environment and a clear mind, both of which are essential for achieving personal and professional success.

It may be that your workload is cluttered and unorganised, which can induce stress as you are unable to distinguish timelines and prioritise tasks. Or it may be that your workspace is physically cluttered which can lead to procrastination which can negatively impact your work productivity and lead to a lack of motivation. Whatever it is, it's good to make sure that you reduce this added pressure as much as possible to improve overall well-being.

What is physical decluttering?

Physical decluttering involves organising and removing unnecessary items from your physical space. This can range from tidying up a workspace and desk to organising your workload more productively. The goal is to create a cleaner, more efficient, and positive environment. Here are some ways to physically declutter: 

Desk Organisation:
Keep only essential items on your desk - store away paperwork, office supplies, and personal items in drawers or cabinets
Use cable organisers to prevent a tangled mess of cords
Organise your computer desktop and digital files - delete anything unnecessary
Keep on top of emails by regularly checking them, sorting them into files and cleaning anything that isn’t needed - this will ensure you miss nothing important
Utilise organisation tools like Trello, to keep on top of tasks and use it as a to-do list that you can work though and check off after completion

Storage Solutions:
Implement a clear filing system for paperwork and ensure there are clear folders for digital files
Label folders and keep them in a designated area - to keep on top of this, review it once a month to make sure everything is where it should be
Use shelves to keep items off the floor and desk - this can include books, office supplies, and decorative items
Use dividers and desk organisers within drawers to keep small items sorted and easily accessible

Regular Maintenance:
Weekly Clean-ups: Set aside time each week for a quick clean-up of your workspace
Monthly Deep Cleans: Schedule more thorough cleanings periodically to ensure the entire workspace remains organised

By applying these principles both in the workplace and at home for studying or work-from-home, you create environments that support efficiency, mental clarity, and a higher quality of life. Regularly taking time to declutter ensures that both work and personal spaces remain functional, inviting, and conducive to positive mental health.

What is Mental decluttering?

As well as reducing physical clutter it’s important that you make sure you mentally declutter clearing your mind of unnecessary thoughts, worries, and distractions. It’s about organising your mental space to improve focus, reduce stress, and enhance overall mental well-being. This can be achieved through various techniques that promote mindfulness and clarity:

Mindfulness Practices:
Take a few minutes each day to meditate - this practice helps calm the mind, reduce stress, and improve focus, it’s great to start the day off by doing this or wind down at the end of the day
Use deep breathing exercises during stressful moments to regain composure and clear your mind, this will help you approach tasks differently and maintain clarity when you need it

Task Management:
Write down tasks and prioritise them, this helps keep track of responsibilities and reduces the mental burden of remembering everything
Allocate specific times for different tasks - this helps in managing time effectively and reduces the tendency to multitask, which can cause additional stress

Work Breaks:
Take short, regular breaks throughout the day to rest your mind, this will help sustain productivity and minimise stress
Step away from work-related technology during breaks to give your mind a rest from constant notifications and information overload - I like to go for a walk or go outside on my breaks this helps to break up the work day
Make sure you have clear points of contact if you feel overwhelmed – i.e. managers, family and colleagues

Mental decluttering is essential for maintaining a balanced, productive, and healthy life. By incorporating mindfulness practices, effective task management, and regular breaks, you can significantly improve focus, reduce stress, and enhance mental well-being at work and at home. These strategies not only foster a more organised and efficient work environment, but also contribute to a more peaceful, fulfilling life outside of work.

Throughout my placement at ProspectSoft, I've experienced first-hand the benefits of maintaining an organised workspace and a clear mind. By prioritising organisation and time management, I've been able to meet deadlines, avoid bottlenecks, and contribute effectively to our team’s success. As we approach the final months of our placement, I will continue applying these principles, regularly decluttering, both physically and mentally. I hope the tips shared in this blog inspire you to declutter your own workspace and mind! 

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