Messy desks cause a huge amount of stress for many of us despite knowing that a clear desk indicates a clear mind. We often get frustrated and overwhelmed just at the thought of trying to tackle clearing our desks. A great way to decrease the stress of that frustration is to create a plan of attack; one that is clear and doesn’t take a lot of time. Once there is a plan of attack in place, clearing that messy desk will be quick and easy. Try some of these ideas to get started.
SCHEDULE TIME TO ORGANIZE: It’s important to make organizing a priority by scheduling time on your calendar. Organizing a desk should take about 3-4 hours. However, if your time is limited, you can break this block into smaller chunks. Try putting aside 30 minutes each day for a week to tackle your project, making sure to block out the time on your calendar.
STORE ONLY ESSENTIALS ON TOP OF YOUR DESK: Look objectively at the things on your desk; do you really need all of these things to function every day? Go through each and every item and ask yourself this question. Remove any items that you really don’t need to streamline what stays on top of your desk and free up space to work.
KEEP ITEMS YOU USE DAILY WITHIN EASY REACH: Move the things you use each day to your writing side except the phone; items used less frequently and the phone should go to the opposite side. This will enable you to keep things within fingertip reach and save you time. The placement of the phone will allow you to take notes while talking and you can avoid having a corded phone cross your chest while holding the phone.
CREATE WORK ZONES: Create a zone for each of the tasks that you perform at your desk such as: communication zone with pads and pens; computer zone with discs and flash drives; time zone with calendar and clock; processing zone with sorters or boxes for papers to be processed.
ASSIGN EVERYTHING A HOME: Immediately assign all items a home when they come to your desk: papers to be processed should go to the in-basket, books to the reference area, messages to the phone area, data to be inputted to the computer area, etc. This technique will help direct your workflow and cut down on the number of undefined piles that can accumulate.
These ideas should be easy to accomplish and yield you great results in a short amount of time … a clear, working desk area. Now take some time to sit at this clear desk and imagine all the creativity that will flow! Check back for more tips to an organized office in our next blog.