As the trend for remote and flexible work continues in 2021, remaining motivated (and even excited) to start work each day can be a struggle. But with our work-life increasingly spilling over into our personal spaces, there has never been a better time to create an environment where we can do our best work and work smarter from home.
The more we have to occupy our desks, the more overloaded our minds become, which makes it harder to find focus. A good place to start is by returning all your items to their homes when they’re not in use. However, many of us now need to fit a gym, school, and multiple home offices under the same roof, so finding free space to tidy into can pose a challenge.
Having the odd bit of paperwork lying around our workstations may seem perfectly harmless, but clutter can wreak havoc on our daily performance. As Japanese organising consultant Marie Kondo tells us, on average, we spend less than half our workday on our most important tasks. That’s because it’s often too easy to find distractions when we live and work in the same space, especially when that space is disorganised.
“Resist the “urgency” trap!” is Kondo’s advice. “Recognize the difference between urgent and important tasks and make sure the urgent to-dos aren’t draining all your time and energy.” It helps to try to remove from your working space anything that you plan to devote your attention to later and block out windows in your calendar to make it happen. Kondo calls this creating a tidy haven, and believes “a calm, uncluttered environment will enhance both productivity and joy.”
According to Kondo, tidying all the aspects of our work life is key to building a career that sparks joy. Even an act as simple as digitising paperwork can be effective in optimising our daily performance and helping us discover what really matters to us when working from home. Ultra-compact and intuitive scanners such as the ScanSnap iX100 can even make it easier than ever to free up space.
In addition to freeing your workstations from disorder, maintaining an effective digital filing system for your documents is essential for conserving your energy, replenishing your creativity, and sharpening your mind. By automatically saving files to your preferred cloud destinations, or scanning directly to email ready for sending to your contacts, ScanSnap Home software (included with all ScanSnap models) can help you reap the many benefits of a de-cluttered “to do” list.
For Marie Kondo, it’s important to create a space that’s a joy, whether you’re living or working in it. She recommends keeping an uncluttered workstation, which will clear your mind. That way, it’s easier to separate out any energy-draining activities and focus on what’s truly meaningful in your present.
After all, a freer mind gives us more space to be creative, and often this is where we can be our most productive selves. Your business decisions will improve, and you may even find working from home an experience that brings out the best in you.
By Robyn Boyd