3 Easy Steps to a Better Workspace in 30 Minutes

November 22, 2021

The nice thing about working from home? 


Coffee in your favorite mug. 


An office with a window.

The family dog as an office companion.

Free munchies just down the hall.


It’s -- working from home.


As much as we may enjoy working from home, there are still Mondays to contend with. It can be easy to be averse to Mondays when it’s been a relaxing weekend. 

However, instead of dreading Mondays, why not institute a simple Monday morning routine for a more optimistic work week?


Grab your coffee and complete these 3 Easy Steps to a Better Workspace in 30 Minutes. These simple tasks will launch you into Monday and improve your mood about the upcoming week.



Set Up Your Desk – 5 Minutes


One of the biggest roadblocks to concentration and a means of consistent distraction is a messy, unorganized desk. Take a speedy five minutes to clean up your desk. Notice I didn’t say work area or office. This is not the time for decluttering or cleaning; it’s just enough time to prepare the place where you will sit and work today. (If you need to clean or declutter, plan this for Friday afternoon.) The purpose of these first 5 minutes is to create a space where distractions are at a minimum.

  1. Stack similar things together (work files, projects, notes, etc.) Put what must be done first by your keyboard.

  2. Make piles for what needs to be filed, recycling or shredding out of the way. (But do these chores later!) I usually put these piles on the floor and out of the way.

  3. Wipe off your keyboard, mouse, and screen.

  4. Have necessary tech, planner, tools handy.

  5. Collect and empty the trash. 



Email – 10 minutes


Nothing is more gloomy than checking your email inbox on Monday morning and seeing numerous emails. Here is how to take just ten minutes to purge and organize emails and know where to begin the week:   



First, sort your inbox by Sender. Now, scroll through and batch-delete those emails you don’t need to read, such as ads, junk mail, or newsletters. Move low-priority emails (to read to at your leisure) to another folder, so they cannot be seen in your primary inbox.



While the inbox is still sorted by Sender, scroll through again quickly. For each Sender you need to contact this week, mark their latest email as “unread.” Any other emails by that Sender can be marked as “read, saved for reference, or if they can be deleted, do that now.


Finally, sort your inbox by “unread.” The latest and priority emails will now be ready to refer to and manage. Leave your inbox at this setting until you have worked through and have read, filed, or deleted. 


Planner – 15 minutes


The last 15 minutes are spent with your planner. However, this step isn’t for planning as it is systemizing.


  1. Divide your list of tasks throughout the workweek;

  2. Update appointments from texts and emails; highlight for clarity.

Don’t use a physical planner? Use this time to make sure your work or online calendars are updated and synced.  


After completing these three steps, you will have a clear space to work and an outline to begin the week. Anything else can now easily be added and prioritized.   


While I use Google calendar and reminders on my phone religiously, I’ve discovered that having a physical planner assists my productivity by having more information at a simple glance. Besides appointments and tasks, I add blog and social media scheduling without having a separate calendar. I often will add a list of what I did accomplish during the day, which has been a handy reference. 


What tips can you share that have helped you start the workweek? 


  1. Excellent tips for getting into an organized and productive mood. When I read the title I was hoping for something more "fun" though. Like "play an uplifting song". Mondays must be especially hard if you've been working from home long-term. Connecting with teammates goes a long way for me.

  2. These tips are pretty much what I do and they help me get going in the morning. I also use a google calendar and a planner for the same reasons. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Sometime ago, I started calling Mondays, "Clean-Slate Mondays" after a mentor of mine introduced me to the concept. It changes one's perspective and attitude toward the day, and by extension, the entire week.

    I love your tips, although I'm not sure the email bit will work for me seeing I have a few thousand messages in my inbox currently. Thanks much.


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