Hi All,

If you keep up to date with my social media, you will know that By Charlie has been awarded the role of project & event manager for the incredible & exciting St Lucia Sculpture Park project. I won’t go too into detail right now, as I will be adding a blog post about it and links once the new website is complete. The project will revolutionize St Lucia tourism, and once complete will provide interactive, entertaining and educational fun for both locals and tourists of all ages. More details to follow…

You will also know if you follow my social media, that today I decided to give tips on reorganising your workstation and making it somewhere you actually WANT to be. People have said to me before “its just my desk” until I point out that they spend almost a quarter of their entire week sat in that dull & lifeless space then wonder why they have no motivation to work. You don’t spend much more time in bed but you still invest in making it look and feel nice, so why neglect your workspace?

I have worked for some truly amazing companies in London, creating some of the most imaginative and incredible events you could wish to see, but we did it all from identical grey desks in cork walled cubicles with metal partitions between us. That is-after all- the setting for most offices: a practical use of limited space and the most cost effective way to seat hundreds of people comfortably. However, when setting up ‘By Charlie’, I didn’t have those constraints. Therefore I decided to make my office into a little haven, a homely, comfortable and pretty space that was also practical and professional. I am not going to list my desk, chair and rug as a tip, because most of my readers will be working with standard office furniture.

ORGANISATION

STEP 1
DECLUTTER
Spend a lunch break (or 2) going through your trays, drawers and those paper mountains on your desk. Organise everything you are keeping into piles and shred/dispose of anything you no longer need or use. Empty the drawers and desk top TOTALLY (doing half a job is pointless). If you do it properly you should get to the point you can clean the top of the desk and take the drawers out to empty/wipe them. I won’t even go into how many germs live in desks but believe me its HORRIFYING.

STEP 2
CONQUER THAT CABINET
Now its time to face that dreaded filing cabinet. You may have also been using it as a junkyard/personal closet but now its time to start afresh. Take all the “loose” items out and allocate them to their relevant pile or place, go through the files and archive/move any folders you no longer need. (This step will depend on your job and how your office is laid out).
Use coloured folders, stickers and labels (positioned so that you can see them easily when flicking through in a hurry) to create a filing system that works for you. Write on the labels in PENCIL, which will allow you to reuse the folders without covering them with labels over and over. Now the cabinet is in order, file those papers from your desk area.

TIP- If you have a HUGE amount of filing or various people accessing it, you may want to produce some kind of key or printed layout of the area. This seems crazy but it’ll ensure you’re not being asked for help every 5 minutes and that everything stays in its place.

STEP 3
REORGANISE
Now it’s time to put it all back (my favourite part). Utilise the drawer space if you have any and if you want to go all out (but your office wont supply them) then get some cutlery trays and pen cups from the pound/dollar store to organise it all. Label your paper trays and always have the ‘IN’ tray on top – this is where your colleagues (and boss) will automatically pile things up.

Think about your desk layout. If you have an L shape desk, putting the computer in the corner produces the most desk space but could give you back problems. Pile your paper trays up, and keep only the stationary you constantly use on the desk. Put the phone in easy reaching distance and ensure you have post- it notes and pens close by. Make good use of any additional storage space you have for bulkier items or those you don’t use daily.

It’s no good having a tidy workspace but your computer desktop is chaotic, you need consistency for this cleanse to work. I personally created a desktop background on word, which looks nice and is functional, meaning I can organise my desktop by category. Name all your files and move everything into folders so you can find what you need easily.
DESKTOP

TIP- Keep one drawer or a box under your desk for your own personal goods, phone charger, snacks, cutlery, loose change, and if you’re a girl who goes out from work then a mini makeup/hair kit. Always keep a spare work outfit at the office incase of spills etc. or a last minute meeting.

STEP 4
UTILISE WALL SPACE
I often see people with various photo frames and random ornaments `cluttering their desk while they’re rummaging through piles of paper looking for a document. Meanwhile bland, empty partition walls surround them. Hang phone lists, a year view calendar and other documents you use continuously on your walls for fast, easy reference. You can also utilise this space for family pictures, emergency contact details and to pin your ‘To Do’ list for the week. It’s amazing how much more productive you are just by having space to function.

STEP 5
FINISHING TOUCHES AND MAKING IT LAST
As I said earlier, I am often called ‘OCD’ about mess, and my husband constantly tells me to jut sit down and stop organising- and reorganising- things! I therefore keep my desk exceptionally neat, organised and structured at all times. Its just the type of person I am. I work better, feel happier and want to be in the space, which keeps me motivated. This is espeiclly important for me as I work at home with my baby in the next room and could easily get distracted otherwise.

To create a relaxing atmosphere I added the following items to my workspace:

• Orchid- if I lived in a city I’d have a never ending supply of peonies and hydrangeas but since this isn’t possible, I have an orchid which has a long life span, is easy to maintain and doesn’t take up much space.
• Candle- flavour alternates – currently Vanilla & Anise from Jo Malone
• Matching stationary holder, paper trays and media holder- white
• Patterned Cushion on my chair
• Small pot with lip balm, hair clip and hand sanitizer
• Tissues and coaster

On My Pinboard is:
• A year to view calendar and lists of important dates
• Photo of my nephew and parents who I don’t see much plus my son!
• My To- do list for the week- both personal and for work
• A picture hanging hook which my headphones hang on for easy reach and to avoid the wire tangling

Organising it is only 20% of the job, keeping it that way is the hardest part. When numerous people are in and out of a filing area or you’re in a stressful job juggling various projects, it’s easy to let it get messy again. This will only create more stress and make your job harder. I personally prefer to keep it tidy as I go, but you could have a “to sort” tray on your desk. If you do this then I recommend committing to a few minutes before you leave for the day to sort through this. It’s much less daunting to organise 10 pieces of paper a day than 100 after putting it off a couple of weeks.

Hope this helps and motivates you to create a tranquil but productive workspace.

Work Hard,

Charlie xxx