How To Organize Your Office Desk And Keep It That Way
I am a self-proclaimed organizing machine. You wouldn’t know it to look at my office now, but as the years push on, I prefer minimal clutter. It’s easier to work when there aren’t any messy distractions around you. I’m a firm believer in WHERE you work affects HOW you work. Working in a cluttered, messy, or distracting environment will affect your work, and probably in a negative way.
A well-organized office desk has huge benefits. In the first place, it provides a feeling of control and competence, which leads to higher levels of productivity. Second, the very fact that it’s organized defends against distractions. Your organized office desk can absorb the incoming work, and position you for success.
Here’s how to organize your office desk:
It’s really simple to get organized but it’s time to get real – you’ve got to purge. Go through everything and only keep those items that you truly need. If you haven’t used it in over a year, it’s not something you need at your desk.
Clear Desktop Clutter
The most important physical space in an office is the desktop. Most people find that they are most productive when working at a desktop that is free of clutter. Yes, I know, there are some (the creative ones) that love to work amongst chaos. Not me. For the less inspired among us, a clean and pristine desktop is the best option. Your office desk (or office cubicle) can match your personality. For me, a clean workspace creates a productive workflow.
Put it Away
Most offices need a few supplies. Pens, pencils, notebooks, and personal items all need to be out of sight. (Unless it’s a cute picture of your husband and kids, then by all means – keep that OUT for everyone to admire). But everything else needs to be stored away! Avoid the temptation to keep your cute stapler, fashionable tape dispenser, and adorable paper clip holder on top of your office desk. For the most part, these supplies need to be stored in an organized and accessible place like a drawer.
File, Trash and Recycle
This is the most crucial step for staying organized all year long. In order to corral the paper pile from happening atop your office desk – put a trashcan and a recycle bin under it. Once a document comes to you, file it (although most files SHOULD be kept digitally), trash it or recycle it. Do it immediately, or make it a habit to do it at the end of every day – don’t procrastinate. To manage the incoming paper, I prefer to use the two-tray system. One tray is for new documents, the other tray for paper you need to deal with (IE File, Trash or Recycle). This is a very simple approach, but it works wonders for eliminating paper clutter from an office desk, freeing you to be more productive.
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