Take a look at your workspace. What are your thoughts? Do you feel encouraged and full of productive energy to create superb technical documentation when you are looking at it? If the answer is ‘yes’, then this article is probably not for you; but you could still give it a read, because the right answer (at least we think so) should be ‘yes, but could be better’. And, if you answered ‘meh’ — definitely read this blog post through. As soon as you finish it, you’ll have an actual plan of how to make your workspace better.
Let Your Workspace Blossom
Literally! Get yourself some pretty plants. Decorations can make a desk look neat and nice but they can also become a distraction. Plus, too many decorations just clutter up the desk and we all know that clutter is bad news for focus. And, technical writers need to stay focused a lot. A plant, in its term, is a good way to decorate. It is natural, green and pretty. You can find a huge variety of pots for desk plants, a lot of geeky ones, too. So, it can be environment-friendly with a fun twist showing off your personality.
Clean the Desk Before Going Home
We do not mean scrubbing it down with a brush. Just try to make putting things in order at the end of your work day a habit. Ideally, it shouldn’t take you more than a couple of minutes, but this minimal effort will pay off in the morning. When you come to work and the desk is nice and clean, you can get straight to business. Seeing a dirty messy workspace first thing in the morning is bad for your morale 🙂
Don’t Procrastinate, Organize!
There is a very thin line between procrastination and organizing your desk. But, actually, the difference is pretty obvious — you need to organize it only once, the rest is pretty much procrastination. If you take our previous advice seriously and start cleaning your workplace before going home, you won’t need to do anything special in your work hours to keep the place tidy. Putting things back in their proper place will work nicely.
The Trash Paradox
The trash paradox is — even if you are following all the previous pieces of advice, you will still encounter trash on your desk. It is one of the universal mysteries no man can solve. Broken pencils, paperclips, crumpled up sheets of paper, useless documents… It is perfect to have a trash can right next to your desk, of course. Even a really small one can help you get rid of the clutter timely instead of forgetting to take it with you the next time you need to get up and go somewhere.
Bonus: Make Your Workplace Healthier
When our muscles are kept in the same position for a long time they get really stiff. Luckily, there are a lot of devices that can help you out with this:
- Ergonomic footrests. This is a great solution for tired feet. There are plenty of models to choose from: hammock-shaped, adjustable, with automatic massage.
- Ergonomic keyboards. This device will keep your fingers from aching. Help authoring takes a lot of typing, so, choosing a keyboard is a serious question for any technical writer.
- Massage pads for office chairs. This will work for people prone to backaches. Such pads come in different sizes and shapes — some of them are able to transform your office chair into a real massage chair while others are much smaller and easily portable.
Any other tricks and tips on how to organize the workplace you would like to share? We will be happy to see your pieces of advice in the comments below. There are so many things that indirectly influence our mood and productivity, really. If you feel like you could use a couple more ideas, check out this post called ‘Lifehacks for Technical Writers’. We try to come up with information that can be useful for tech writers specifically, and, hopefully, we have managed to change things for the better for some of you.
Good luck with your technical writing!
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