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The Beginner’s Zen Office (Two Starter Steps) In the topic of workspaces, I tend to go by the notion that you need less than you think. You may balk at the idea but hear me out for a bit here:

In the year 2012, many productivity tools are actually highly multitasking. Single-function instruments of the past (wristwatches come to mind) are easily replaceable with tools than can do 3 or more jobs (even basic cellphones can tell time, get your mail, and keep your contacts book – all that besides making basic calls).

My intention for this post is to help you envision a clean desk that’s free of clutter, noise, and distraction. To get you to a place where stress is reduced and you can finally have the energy to push forward with your tasks productively – whether you are a paper or computer using worker. All this into 2 starter steps.

1) Reduce, Toss, Take out
– Get started by elimination. Unsubscribe from magazine you do not read. Ask to be taken off of junk mail. If you are familiar with online banking, call your vendors and ask paper bills to be replaced by online ones. Take a hard look at your desk and reduce tsotchkes by storing them out of sight or tossing them to the trash bin. If you work mostly with computer, eliminate non-business mail from your inbox. Why not use email filters to automatically sort out your email for you? So you know exactly where you subscribe and which newsletters you need to unsubscribe from. The underlying concept is to stick to essentials. Keep only the tools that you often need on your work table. Soon you will feel a whole lot of time in your hands since you’re able to do tasks quicker.

Apart from speed, you will benefit from an altogether clearer mindset – your minimalist surroundings will positively improve your decision-making skills.

2) A Central Inbox

– Mostly I am talking about all the incoming paper that accumulate from a typical business operation. In general think of something you come across on paper as actionable. You don’t want all your actionable items all over the place do you? This is where the central inbox comes in.

As you begin this step, attack the various clumps of paper sitting on top of your desktop. Get a big enough inbox from the office supply store. Next, gather all your paper items until they end up as one tall heap. Done? Now you’re ready to evaluate actionable items. That post-it reminder to yourself to buy more printer ink? Inbox it. That bill that’s due in 2 weeks, inbox it. Various memos that need to be signed? You get the idea. Old newspapers? Miscellaneous paper bits? Take them out of the heap. Ideally you end up with a smaller heap of only actionable items in that inbox but don’t let them stack up. Allot a specific time to take action on your inbox items.

Better yet, use your computer’s resources to keep you reminded of things you need to take care of. Got a deadline to beat? Setup your Outlook’s Calendar to remind you about your appointments or calls. Still keeping a stacks of business cards but don’t have time to look for your contacts? Why not enter contact details in your email client? Make information easily available t at your fingertips.

Congratulations, you are now ready to take action steps.

In keeping with the minimalist theme, I’ll stop here. These two steps are huge on impact as it is. We’ll discuss more productivity tools in future blog entries.

I will end this post by leaving you with the wise words of artist Hans Hoffman, who said: “The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.”

We have a nice minimalist office setup here at the BlissDrive HQ. Contact us now for a complimentary audit of your business and we’d be happy to recommend steps to make your website work for you. Don’t be shy, call us at 949-229-3454!

Photo Credits:freedigitalphotos.net