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, President and CEO of New York-based 5W Public Relations. He has overseen the company's rapid growth and expansion to the Inc. 500 list, as well as provided counsel to hundreds of companies, including members of the Fortune 500, Inc. 500 and Forbes 400. His work spans global interests, corporate entities, high-profile individuals, regional business entities, government agencies and academic institutions - both on routine public relations matters and extremely sensitive issues. One of the foremost public relations experts in the U.S., Torossian is known for his aggressive, results-focused orientation, as well as his close working relationships with members of the media, influencers, decision makers, politicians and celebrities. At 5W Public Relations, Torossian's client experience has included programs for Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Anheuser-Busch, Barnes & Noble, Cantor Fitzgerald, IHOP, McDonald's, Evian, EDS, VeriSign, XM Radio, Seagram's, The Loews Regency, Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment, Marriott Hotels, Vail Resorts, Pamela Anderson, Snoop Dogg, the Government of Israel, and others. Referred to by The New York Post as a "publicity guru," by Fox News as a "high-powered PR CEO," by Tyra Banks as a "crisis management guru," and by CNN as "a leading PR expert," Torossian is regularly featured in and quoted by the media, including by CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, NBC, The New York Times, and others. CBS National News said "Ronn Torossian knows spin," and a New York Times feature story on Torossian referred to him as "The consummate hard-driving, scrappy NY publicist." Earlier in his career, Torossian was a Vice President/Group Director for one of The InterPublic Group's (IPG) largest PR agencies, where he was responsible for significant client growth and successful client programs, including work for Clinique, Fox News Channel, DHL, Hard Rock Café and others. A resident of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Torossian was named to the Advertising Age "40 Under 40" list, PR Week's "40 Under 40" List, is a regular lecturer at universities and conferences, a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of numerous non-profit organizations.