Make Your Workspace More Efficient: Organize Your Desk
- Posted by Alaia Williams
- On February 26, 2015
Having an organized office is a valuable asset. Not only will an organized office help you keep a clear head and be more productive, but it gives you one less thing to stress out about!
This post will cover one of the most important things you can do to work your way to a more organized office.
Clear off and reorganize your desk!
If you do only one thing, keep a clear desk! As I always say, physical clutter becomes mental clutter. If you sit down at your desk and immediately feel overwhelmed before you’ve opened your calendar or turned on your computer, you’ll want to take this advice. If this sounds like you, you’ve probably noticed that you become incredibly inefficient and unproductive. I’ve had some clients who avoided their desks like the plague because the sight of it made them want to pull their hair out. Don’t get stuck in that place.
If there’s one space to keep clear, again, it is this one. If you work in an office, your desk is most likely your hub. If you’re an artist, this is your drawing table or the space you lay photographs on. Whatever that zone is for you – it’s important!
Here’s how to turn that disaster zone into a sleek money making machine:
Start by taking things off your desk an item (or pile) at a time. Sort them into categories – trash, file, and store for example. Trash should go immediately into the trash can or recycle bin. No sense in handling it multiple times. Filing should be done a regular basis (you can read this post for tips). Organize remaining items into homes that make sense (all office supplies together, gadgets in the same drawer, manuals compiled in the same bin or binder, etc).
Only place things on your desk that you use every day – or several times per week. Your desk should not be a dumping ground – the items easily accessible should be the ones you use most often. The only things on my desk are my laptop, phone, Master To-Do List (with pen attached), catch-all notebook (also with pen attached), and my Good Things Jar. I don’t even keep my printer on my desk. I selected a wireless printer (love it!) that hides nicely in my closet. Yep, that’s it!
As for files on your desk, I suggest only keeping immediate action items – things coming up that day or that week – at your fingertips. Keeping a stack of papers on your desk becomes a hindrance when you don’t know what’s what and can’t find the immediate action items. If you are worried about the “out of sight, out of mind” factor, consider keeping track of to-do’s on a master list, or use a cork board, magnetic board, or wall pockets for the important stuff.
Once you’ve cleared off your desk, respect your hard work by keeping it clean! Pretend there is a force field around your desk – if something comes your way that isn’t important, it doesn’t get a home on your desk top – trash it, file it, or put it in it’s home. Your desk is now a reverse magnet for clutter.
You’ll feel 100% better each day when you sit down at your desk and can find what you need when you need it.