How to Optimize Your Desk for Maximum Efficiency and Performance

While it’s no secret that keeping your desk organized is important for maintaining your productivity, that’s not to say that it’s always easy to do. If you’re interesting in optimizing your desk’s layout though, then you’re in luck, because this guide is going to go over some of the best tips out there to help maximize your workflow’s efficiency.

1. Develop a Routine

One of the easiest ways to reduce clutter around your desk is to develop a routine that you actually can stick to on a regular basis. At first, you can start with something simple, like a monthly review of your desk space. Then, as you become more conscious of your habits, you can start performing a regular daily cleaning ritual at the end of the day. Once you’ve turned organizing your desk into a daily habit, you’ll be surprised at just how much room you have available for your next important project.

Similarly, it also helps to set hard limits for many of your most common tasks. For instance, if you’re used to just opening tabs on the Internet whenever you feel like it, try setting a limit of no more than three at once. Once you start applying constraints to all of your various desk habits, you’ll be able to stop yourself from getting overwhelmed, especially when it comes time to clean everything.

2. Make the Environment Work for You

Natural light and fresh air can have a profound impact on not just the way you work, but the way you think as well. Although having access to these isn’t always easy, there are some simple workarounds. If you have the room in your office, try to rearrange your desk so that it gets access to as much light as possible. Alternatively, don’t be afraid to take a walk every now and then if you feel like you simply need to get away from your desk. It may seem like a strange way of optimizing your workflow, but the reality is that you’ll feel much more productive at your desk once you’ve taken a few breaths of fresh air.

3. Set Up a Variety of Work Spaces

Even if your desk isn’t that big, you can still set up multiple work spaces by associating different tasks with different areas of the desk. For instance, if you associate your desktop with writing emails, and your laptop with looking things up on the Internet, you’ll be able to set up clear parts of your desk that are for specific tasks. Aside from helping to keep yourself organized, this also has the added benefit of boosting your productivity by helping your brain to naturally shift to new tasks as needed.

In fact, this trick is so effective that you can apply it to more than just your desk. All you need to do is figure out your most common tasks, and then assign different parts of your office for where you complete them. Although it might take a while to get into the habit, you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes in your productivity once you get used to it. You can also use this technique to make the tasks you want to avoid more difficult. For instance, if you find yourself regularly checking your phone when you’re not supposed to, trying stuffing it in an area of your office that’s out of the way. By making it more difficult to access, you’ll disincentivize yourself from pursuing that activity again in the future.

4. Respect the Power of Sound

While we’ve taken a look at some physical tricks to improving your work space, what about sound itself? As it turns out, sound can have a powerful effect on your brain, and limit what you’re capable of doing if it’s not probably managed. While noise cancelling headphones are great for cutting out unnecessary chatter from your life, it’s also just as effective to find music that relaxes you while you work. If you can tune out the negativity surrounding and distracting you, you’ll find that it has a far greater impact on your productivity than many of the other tips on this list.

5. Maximizing Efficiency Through Positivity

Many of the tips throughout this guide have focused on not just changing the way your desk looks, but also how your brain views your desk as well. This is because the greatest way to boost efficiency and performance is to develop a positive outlook related to both your work and your office as a whole. By staying positive, and committed to developing an effective working method, you’ll be able to hopefully overcome your challenges and rise above them. Productivity is ultimately about developing a routine that works for you, and these tips will hopefully inspire you to find new ways to challenge yourself and to rise to the occasion.

Find out whats on Ronn Torossian’s desk in his recent Haute Living feature, and learn more about the veteran PR Executive in his Dujour interview.

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Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 175 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, and a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, was named to PR Week's "40 under Forty" list, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations" is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities.