Did you know that you can lose up to an hour a day because your desk is disorganized? But if your desk is well organized and everything is in its place, this can help with work productivity and set the tone for your day. This is because when you can’t find something, not only does it take extra time to find it, but it causes stress.
Getting your desk organized
It’s easier to maintain your desk once it’s organized and when everything has its own a place. This is especially true for the mess that happens when you just toss something on your desk thinking that you’ll tend to it later. So, you’re better off to just take that extra minute and put everything back in place. But organize first if you haven’t done so because then you’ll have a home for everything. All this will save you time when it’s time to find something again, and your desk won’t be three folders thick with papers. For more organizational tips, below are some suggestions on how to keep your desk looking professional:
- Office supplies: There are different places to put office supplies in an organized way. If the supplies are used every day, then they can go on a desk or on a small file cabinet by your desk. If the item is only used once or twice a week then it can go in a drawer either at the side of your desk, or under your desk. Also, keeping like items together instead of having them in different drawers is another tip.
- Sticky notes: Sticky notes are wonderful. Sticky notes can easily spread before you know it though. A few on your desk or monitor and the next thing you know, they’re all over everything. Sticky notes are good for short-term reminders only. If you have a lot of reminders, put them on an electronic document device or in a binder just for that purpose.
- Personal knickknacks: A few personal photos or maybe a souvenir from the beach can give your eyes a pleasant break from work. However, cluttering the top of your desk with too many mementos can be distracting and messy. Three personal items on your desk in sufficient.
- Keep your e-mail inbox under control: Communication by email is a great way to get things done, but it can also be a distraction as well. So, you should designate certain periods of time only to check emails throughout the day.
- Make a space for incoming papers: You need to have a place for incoming papers otherwise they will be all over your desk. If you control your paper flow, then you’ll know what needs finished and what is already completed.
- Make sure trash makes it to the garbage can: When you have something in your hand that’s trash, don’t put it down for later to put it in the trash. Otherwise, it will most likely end up on your desk. Nothing is worse than a cold half-empty drink cup that spills over those important papers because you didn’t put it in the trashcan.
Other helpful tips
Some other helpful tips to keep on track. For example, prioritize what’s important on your desk to keep the work flow moving. If your work becomes backed up, it’s easy to kill productivity and get mired down. By prioritizing and keeping only active projects, documents and what’s relevant on your desk though, then the flow will keep moving. One way to do this is to group projects according to priority.
In one pile, stack what’s important and urgently needs completed. In the second pile, stack what’s urgent, but not as important when compared to what’s urgent and needs completed. In a third pile, put what’s important, but not necessarily urgent to do now. In the fourth pile, stack what’s not very important and non-urgent. Have a vertical file folder too so that the folders can be stacked side-by-side. This way, files aren’t stacked on top of each other where one may then become overlooked.
Finally, keep your desk clean by using disinfectant wipes. With all the germs which are spread around an office, wiping off your desk, phones and keyboard throughout the day can keep you healthier. Then at the end of the day, give everything one last wipe so that the next day you start out with a clean desk space.
A cleared off desk will also help you to clear your mind so that you can work efficiently.