When you feel stressed, worried, or anxious, it’s hard to work productively. In certain situations procrastination works as a coping mechanism to keep your stress levels under control. A wise solution is to reduce the amount of stress in your life when possible, such that you can spend more time working because you want to, not because you have to.


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Have you previously convinced yourself that you aren’t afraid of anything…
that there are always good and logical reasons why you don’t do certain things? Introducing yourself to a stranger would be rude.
You shouldn’t attempt public speaking because you don’t have anything to say. Asking for a raise would be improper because you’re supposed to wait until the next formal review. They’re just rationalizations, though – think about how your life would change if you could confidently and courageously do these things with no fear at all.
Self-development should be seen as a life-long process. We should always have new goals, things to look forward to, new experiences we want to have. All of these things make us a more rounded person – and the more grounded we are, the more successful we will be.

Now that you have your office materials functionally divided into different zones, the next step is to assign natural areas of your room to each zone. Ideally, you want these zones to overlap as little as possible, but some overlap is usually necessary, especially if you use your computer for many different tasks. Take some time to determine an arrangement of furniture that will best suit your functional needs.A key to this stage is to envision what your ideal office would look like. Forget about what furniture you already own, and don’t worry about cost or space constraints at this point. Just use your imagination, and think about what you’d want if cost were irrelevant. Write this down on paper, and even sketch out your ideal office layout, noting which work zones you would assign to each natural area.

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Now that you know what you want for your ideal furniture layout, brainstorm ways you can get as close to that ideal as possible, given budget and space constraints. Many people, myself included, have inherited old furniture that no longer serves them.

Just because you happen to already own it doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for you today. Don’t be afraid to sell old furniture and replace it with something more functional. You can find plenty of reasonably priced self-assembly office furniture at office superstores, and many offer free delivery. I bought my computer desk, hutch, rolling drawer cabinet, and printer stand for a total of $99 new, but I had to assemble them myself. I also bought three six-foot folding tables for about $35 each, and they can be moved around easily. Additionally, I picked up five stacking shelves (60″ tall, 36″ wide, 10″ deep) for only $20. Bookcases are cheap too, about $40-60 for one with six shelves. If you want that hand-carved mahogany desk.

Measure furniture and play with different configurations in your favorite image editing software. Or make paper cut-outs to scale and experiment with them. It’s much easier to do this than physically moving the furniture around. Now that you’ve settled on an office furniture layout, place the equipment, materials, and supplies for each zone into that zone. As you determine how to zone your office, you might want to have redundant supplies for convenience. I need writing instruments for most tasks, so I have containers for them on both sides of the room. Don’t store things just where they seem to fit. Store materials as close as possible to the point where you’ll actually use them. Inconvenient storage can easily lead to clutter.

Sort all the items in those piles of clutter. For this task you can place several boxes on the floor and begin placing items into the boxes. The key is to sort items in a way that makes sense from a functional standpoint. Ask yourself under what conditions each item would be needed, and sort items by similar conditions. For instance, I had one box for stuff that needed to be filed, another box for design materials, another box for trash, and so on. Even though it may seem like a good idea, don’t start putting things away just yet. When clutter accumulates, there’s usually a good reason for it, and you want to learn why such items turned into clutter, even if you know where those items should go.

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