As we finally emerge from the pandemic, many of us career girls still find ourselves working from home, the newest change brought onto the workforce from quarantine. While working in loungewear can be fun, there is something rewarding about the structure and organization of a physical office that feels like it was so long ago. It was this thought, coupled with an inspirational quote from Bonni Goldberg (“detail is electric”) that sparked me to make my home office a space where I could be at my most productive. During this journey, I discovered that the key to happiness – and productivity – is organization. As you begin to declutter your space, you will immediately see results and ultimately, your home office will feel simultaneously like a sanctuary and a space of creativity, productivity and organizational zen!
Achieving Your Working From Home Zen
There are lots of things you can do, both large and small, that will make a tangible difference in the way your home office feels and functions. Getting rid of things you no longer use in your office will increase its functionality by making it tidier, easier to clean, as well as giving it a boost of positive energy. I recommend beginning with old papers – add them to the recycling bin (or shred them), along with files and calendars you no longer use. Additionally, consolidating your daily notes and to-do lists into one notebook will do wonders for your desk & give you more space to work.
It’s also never too late to embark on a spring office (& life!) cleaning, like getting your taxes ready for next year or sorting through your old work wardrobe that you can wear for virtual meetings or store away for the future. Now, you are ready to pick one big project (don’t worry about trying to do multiple projects at once) to embark upon. I recommend focusing on one project a month; working on it a little at a time can be cathartic and is the ultimate stress-free plan. A deep cleaning of your physical working space once a season will also support you to feel comfortable at work, and will brighten up and refresh any space.
My final suggestion is to take aim at the little, repetitive, everyday tasks. Work hard to make it a habit to sort your mail right away, clean your desk and purse every day, and dream up new ways to multitask effectively. Train yourself to make a difference in tiny ways all day long, and soon you’ll forget it’s an annoyance, because when it all adds up, you’re way ahead of the game.
Make Organizational Zen Your Normal
If you can coax yourself into making the art of organization second nature, I promise it will serve you – and your career – forever.