Your Workstation: Tips to Remove the Clutter and Maximize Workspace
If you can’t see the surface of your desk and your filing system consists of piles of papers, you’re probably stressed and feeling overwhelmed. There’s even evidence that your co-workers are judging you. So it’s time to do something about it. Getting rid of some of the clutter will help you organize, be more productive, de-stress and send the message to management that you’re on top of things.
Technology: Both the problem and the solution
The promise of technology has always been to make our lives easier. And yet, the pace of change and the steady flow of new gadgets has added another layer of complexity that quickly becomes evident on desktops, with their layers of cables, dongles and adapters.
To get on top of this mess, we’ve compiled a few helpful tips.
- Get more. Buying cables to solve a cable problem sounds counter-intuitive, but if you buy different cables for office, car and home, you’ll spend less time looking for them, and you can better organize the ones that you have. You’ll need both connectivity (e.g. USB) and power (cell phones, laptops, portable drives etc). A USB hub is a great option to get connectivity and power (ABC: always be charging).
- You have the power. Cables snaking all over a desk are not only unsightly but give the impression of disorganization.
For power cables, there are many different ways to tame this mess, including cool design-y things like Cablox, cable ties, baskets, and dedicated power boxes such as the one at right, but you can also get a lot done with twist ties. It’s all about making stuff easily accessible but not visible.
- Minimize cables with a docking station. Docking stations allow you to hook up multiple monitors, external HDDs, and fast-charge mobile devices all via a single connection to your laptop. With a little work, the docking station can also be mounted under the desk or at least out of the way, where the cables won’t take up space. If you’re not sure what type of docking station you actually require, have a look through StarTech.com’s Families of Docking Stations.
- Tame the remainder by giving them a home. After all of this organizing, you’re still left with a cable to your docking station, and cables to power your portable devices (cell phone, tablets). Now you need to get inventive, to hold the cables in place so that you never have to go searching, and so that they look neatly stowed away. Again, there are fancy options like Recoil and Quirky, but this blog shows how simple binder clips (or an old credit card) can do the trick.
With a little luck, these small acts of organization will pay off in productivity, and less time searching for cables. And hopefully, your office mates (and boss?) will notice too.
Wondering what to do with that old pile of cables and connectors? The rule of thumb is that if you haven’t used it in 6 months, it is pretty unlikely you’ll ever use it again. Google “recycle electronics” for options in your area.