The development of the Internet means that today’s independent creators can have their own home office, and, thanks to their laptop, take it with them wherever they go. But this great flexibility requires, in return, an extremely rigorous organization, both in terms of time and space. If you’re thinking about tidying up your desk, the first thing to do is to set yourself a fixed, regular schedule, as if you were working outside. This is the sine qua non for working efficiently and not wasting precious time. You’ll also want to limit your phone calls to business calls, and postpone all private conversations and unnecessary chatter. Once you’ve acquired this discipline, you’ll be able to organize your workplace, however small, according to a few simple rules, in order to gain in efficiency, increase productivity and create wellbeing and beauty.
Eliminate the superfluous, keep the necessary
No efficiency without order. A desk cluttered with paperwork, drawers full to the brim, a space that seems disorganized will act as a repellent and make you waste a lot of time looking for the document you need immediately. This means eliminating the superfluous and keeping only the bare essentials. Get into the habit of throwing away useless leaflets every day, and putting away documents or letters that need to be kept in the right place immediately. So nothing will ever clutter up your desk. A clean desk has a positive impact on your morale and increases your productivity, because you’ll quickly find the file you need. A place for everything and everything in its place: the old rule still applies.
Order and tidiness
Put invoices, letters and documents in numbered and referenced pockets and boxes, in descending chronological order, so that you have the latest invoice or document at your disposal. The documents you use every day need to be within easy reach, or within sight, thanks to shelving. Documents that are essential to your business, such as your Siret number, your auto-entrepreneur accounts and any copyright you may have filed with companies like FIDEALIS to protect your creations, should be kept separate and well protected. You’ll also need a dashboard, on which you can write down the week’s agenda or the things you mustn’t forget. When choosing your desk, also consider its storage capacity and practicality: good sliding drawers that don’t jam and allow separate storage of files, built-in shelves. If you’re short of space, storage towers and pedestals on wheels will save you space and make them easy to transport.
To save space and time, also aim to limit paper by replacing it with its digital equivalent: opt for online account statements and electronic invoices, and systematically scan all your documents. This way, they’re preserved, and you can send them to your customers or suppliers at the click of a button. We calculated that it took us around 18 minutes to locate a paper document, and that we were losing up to 20% of that time. So turn all your files into digital folders – PDF, Excel, Google Docs, Evernote etc. – and always have your scanner-equipped printer close at hand. If you still need to keep a certain number of originals, store them in attractive folders to create harmonies and gradations: the beautiful natural materials of recycled cardboard, vibrant colors or subtle cameos to differentiate your files, will add to the order and aesthetics of your office.
Customize your workspace
Don’t turn your workroom into an impersonal space, and your desk into a mere place to store files. Let the room where you work be a pleasant place, marked by the stamp of your personality. If you only have a work area, a frame or two on the wall, images that particularly inspire you, an object rich in memories or a bouquet of flowers will suffice to personalize your workspace: here again, you’ll gain in creativity, as you’ll be inspired by your intimate universe. Choose your desk with care: it should be functional and beautiful, in keeping with your tastes. Many models are available today, at affordable prices. Whether you opt for the clean lines of Scandinavian design, sleek Japanese shapes, lacquered materials and chrome, or prefer the authenticity of exotic woods or the naked beauty of solid wood, your desk will have a soul.
Focus on ergonomics
You spend long hours at your desk, even most of your day, so its ergonomics are essential to avoid backache, eye strain and other inefficiencies. The seat is an important element: whether adjustable in size, swiveling on castors or fixed, it should be tall and enveloping, with an ergonomic, padded back and seat that follow the curves of your body. A directional chair, infinitely adjustable thanks to a pneumatic actuator, will adapt to your every movement. Also consider the base, which should be stable, and the covering, which should be breathable. No heavy, back-breaking storage units on wheels either, or drawers that jam and prevent you from accessing your documents in good time. Don’t forget the lighting, so as not to damage your eyes. A double source of light is needed, from the right and the left: combining a good telescopic desk lamp with a tall floor lamp is a happy solution. A desk lamp or an architect’s lamp will enable you to look precisely at your documents or work on your creations, while a tall, softly lit floor lamp will add ambiance and style.
Clean and beautify
Finally, consider cleaning your workspace more regularly than any other, as you spend long hours in it: air out your room, dust off your desk and shelves, and clean your computer with an antiseptic product every week, to protect yourself from bacteria and so that you don’t always have unsightly fingerprints in front of your eyes. Cell phones have become beautiful design objects with streamlined lines: make the most of them!