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Take Charge of Your Environment
Make Your Workspace Work for You
By Victoria Munro          

How efficient is your workspace? You’ll be much more productive working in a pleasant, comfortable and convenient environment. It may be time to re-examine and take a fresh look at your work area.

Comfort
When you start a business, it’s easy to cut costs, work wherever is convenient, use extra furniture you have on hand and then simply get used to that environment. Take a fresh look at your workspace.

Pay attention to the ergonomics of your office. If you spend a significant amount of time at your desk, invest in a comfortable chair and supports your back and positions you at the correct height and angle to work. Make sure that your keyboard and monitor are at the right height and angle to avoid unnecessary physical strain.

Convenience
Design your office layout to fit the way you work. Time spent designing and setting up good filing systems (both paper and electronic) is a worthwhile investment. Make sure that these systems work for you – that they are logical, easy to access and flexible to cope with business growth and change. Designating a specific place for everything, and putting things back in their assigned place after using them, can save hours of searching for misplaced items. Keep papers, files, books and equipment you use frequently close at hand.

Often, it’s the little things that we quickly become used to, that waste our time and increase stress levels: desk drawers that don’t open properly, placement of the phone, books referred to often that are kept across the room.

If you use your vehicle as a secondary office, make sure that everything you’re likely to need is organized and within easy reach. Perhaps carry a small portable file box containing any forms or documents you might need, basic office supplies and a good flashlight. Keep it well stocked. The cover may serve as a writing surface when you need one.

Enjoyable Environment
Dave has strengths in many areas, but he isn’t naturally an organized person. Last year we noticed that he was spending less and less time in his office. It had become cluttered, confusing and it was seldom easy to find what he needed quickly. He simply didn’t enjoy working there any more. We took time out to plan and redesign the entire office. We designed a new desk, computer center, storage and shelving areas, and had them built. We created new electronic and paper filing systems. He now loves working in his office. He is organized, efficient and more productive. Our physical environment can make an enormous difference to our productivity and how we feel! Don’t underestimate the value of this.

Several years ago, I made a wish list of what was important to me in an office. My criteria included: bright light and sunshine, windows through which I could see the sky, trees and green grass, flowers around me, and all files organized and within easy reach. I have thoroughly enjoyed my ‘dream office’ for more than four years now.

During the holidays, I spent two days designing and creating a filing system that matches the growth of our business. It wasn’t a lot of fun, but the results are rewarding – knowing instantly where to find everything is a big plus. Getting organized takes time but will save time, stress and frustration in the long run.

About the Author: Victoria Munro is co-founder (along with husband Dave Block) of Make-it-Fly® LLC, a company dedicated to creating success for small-business owners through creatively designed programs and tools. Victoria has started and run nine different businesses. To receive FREE business success articles with tips to help you with your business, sign up for their award-winning ezine, “In-Flight Refueling,” at: www.Make-it-Fly.com, and receive a free copy of the eBook, Get More Done in Less Time: 101 Quick and Easy Time Tactics & Tips.

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