If you participate in the average 40-hour workweek, you likely spend a large portion of that time at your desk. Your office environment is important, but within that is your desk environment. An optimized desk setup is essential to your productivity along with increased health and happiness.
Jimmy Johnson said it best: “The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.” You don’t have to settle for ordinary.
Try these 5 desk hacks to improve your work life.
Add storage to your desk space
Rather than settling for a standard desk, ask your office manager if you can get a bit more creative. For example, try placing a door on top of two small bookcases like this project by Martha Stewart.
A desk with drawers and shelves can help you create a system to handle all incoming papers and office necessities while keeping your desktop clean. That old adage – “a place for everything and everything in its place” – definitely applies here.
Make your desk a partner in your organizational attempts. Choose one that will help you keep your books, boxes, and accessories easily accessible but out of the way. If your company assigns you a desk with no storage, consider adding a small cabinet or shelving unit underneath.
Go for the “L” shape
Another desk hack that can increase your productivity is to have two desks. You can place the two desks together to form the letter “L.”
This will allow you to have your computer and other necessary electronics on your main desk and then have space to write and take notes on the one beside you. All you have to do is simply spin your chair around and you have a clean space to work.
Blogger, Sabrina Scrivo gave herself room to create with this tip in her new home office.
If you prefer an L-desk that is in one piece, here are a couple of our favorites: the Bush Furniture Tuxedo L-Desk; Mocha Cherry which is great for every day use and the beautiful yet elegant Somerset 71W L-Desk; Hansen Cherry.
Try standing up
Workers across the land were shocked when reports came out earlier this year touting sitting as the new smoking.
Research has linked sitting for long periods of time with a number of health concerns, including obesity and metabolic syndrome.
By “hacking” your existing desk, you can mitigate the risks associated with long periods of sitting without having to purchase a standing desk. Placing your monitor and other equipment on a stool or small table on top of your current desk, for example, will allow you to stand and work at various times throughout the day.
If your desk has enough space, you can leave an area to sit and add an area to stand as well. This will allow you to change positions during work hours to keep your circulation at optimal levels while giving you an energy and creativity boost.
Add a splash of personality
When you’re spending so much of your time at work, you want to create an organized desk space that frees you to create and bask in new possibilities. Adding artwork, family photos, and mood boards can help you solve problems and become happier while doing so.
Great companies understand the importance of allowing employees to express themselves. For example, Etsy gives each new employee a $100 site credit to decorate their desks, leading to an odd array of robots, stuffed octopus, vintage typewriters, and artwork.
Put things in front of you that will remind you to focus on your goals yet stay open to new ideas. Add some inspiring statements in a unique way. Create a vision board. Show off what makes your professional journey unique.
Make it ergonomic
Whether you choose to sit at your desk, stand, or vary between the two, you need to make sure that you’re caring for your alignment. Everything from your neck and back to your eyes can be affected by how you sit at your desk and stare at your computer.
If sitting, make sure you have a comfortable chair that supports the natural curvature of your spine. You will also want to make sure your eyes are at the proper level to your screen and the proper distance from your screen, because eye strain is no fun. Life Hacker has a handy chart you can refer to for setting up an ergonomically correct work station.
If you decide to go the standing desk route, be sure to wear supportive shoes and consider a mat.
We hope these five tips will help you rock your desk space so you can work more efficiently and spread your contributions to the world far and wide. A little effort can go a long way in creating a space that better supports you!
What is your favorite desk hack? Let us know on Twitter @quillcom, and don’t forget to subscribe to Café Quill and follow us on social media for more tips on how to make your work day as productive as possible.