Coaching Association of Canada

#CoachToolKit: 6 Tips On Organizing A Coach’s Ultimate Work Space

There have been a lot of studies done on how to effectively set up your workspace for maximum productivity.  I am not going to delve into the science today but thought I would get you started with a few tips based on what research has found on the best ways to set up your workspace.

I got the tips I am going to share with you today for an organized, work-optimized office from author and business consultant Michael Masterson. His recommendations have been put to good use in my office so I wanted to share them with all of you as well.

1. Provide yourself with a range of lighting, from subtle to very bright.

You will need three or four separate light sources. I recommend fluorescents (overhead or indirect) to light up the room brightly when you're feeling tired and need to wake yourself up. A second light source should focus on your desk. You can do that best with an overhead spot. A lamp, either on the desk or standing on the floor, will give your office a warm and friendly feeling when you entertain recruits or other coaches. And natural light, shuttered with blinds, is great if you can get it.

The lighting in your environment may seem unimportant, but it has a direct effect on your energy and your mood. Use the best-quality lights you can afford.

2. Make the space workable.

Your desk and other furniture should be tailor-made to fit your working style. Don't shortchange yourself here. Give yourself sufficient room, but not so much that you will accumulate more stuff than you need. Make sure the files and equipment you use regularly are within easy reach. And position the furniture so that you can easily move in between your common work areas.

3. Keep all regular reference, coaching and inspirational books handy—preferably within a step and a grab from your chair.

This can be done inexpensively by furnishing your office with store-bought bookshelves, if necessary.

4. Invest the time and money to find and purchase a great chair.

From a personal productivity standpoint, your office chair is the most important thing you own. It is more important, in some ways, than your house—even more important than your car.

Just think... on a typical day, you may spend eight to 10 hours in that chair. That’s more than a third of your day. Don’t you think you should invest in something you’re spending so much time in?

Adjust your chair so that your trunk meets your hips at 90 degrees, and tilt your computer so that the top line of the text is five degrees below your eye level. (That way, you don't have to move your head up and down to read.) Your keyboard should be positioned so that your hands lie flat. Set down a hard plastic mat on the floor beneath your chair so you can roll freely.

5. Keep an egg timer on your desk.

This is very good for those of us that tend to sink a lot of time into unimportant (or downright wasteful) activities and distractions. It’s also good to remind you to stay active and moving.

Use the egg timer to make sure you are never seated for more than an hour at a time. Each time the timer rings, stand up before you turn it off. And once you are standing, get moving. Do something physical for five minutes. I stretch or do squats and push-ups. Walk around and talk to people for a moment...just do something that refreshes you for just a few minutes.

6. Get rid of the mess.

You may think it works to your advantage to have everything you could possibly need piled up around you, but it doesn't. It just shows the rest of the world how unwilling you are to take control of your life.

"A place for everything, and everything in its place."  That includes holders for pencils, pens, and reading glasses—separate and easily within reach.

Every few months come into the office on a weekend. Spend a couple of hours cleaning and rearranging for better organization.

There you have it. Making these few quick workspace changes can make a world of difference in your office productivity. Here's even more tips for organizing your space in order to save you time.

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