An Organised Desk Helps You Work Better
By cleaning up your desk you’ll work better and be more productive.
Few things are worse in the office than the eyesore of a messy desk. It’s even more atrocious in an open-plan office where everyone is subjected to the ugliness and funky smells. You don’t mean to judge, but you just know that the staff member with the piles of paper and old coffee cups towering across their desk is perceived as the least productive. And what if that person is you? Arghhh – it’s time to do something and save your reputation before things get out of hand! With an organised desk you’ll work better and be more productive.
What does an organised desk look like?Before you can launch yourself into sorting out your office desk, it’s good to know what you’re trying to achieve. There’s no one answer to this – everyone is different and has different needs and a different perception of what is and isn’t clutter. Just because Sally likes everything lined up parallel and evenly spaced doesn’t mean this is right for you. Aim for a space that works for you and makes you feel at ease.
Starting outIf you’re starting from the beginning, or are able to make some purchases to get things in order, choose furniture and desk accessories to suit your personality and create an environment that will make you more focussed. Opt for rounded edges to influence positive emotions and use colour to alter your mood – blue to stimulate the mind, yellow for creativity, red for attention to detail or green for tranquility. Desk organisers, trays and folders provide a place to keep everything, and you’ll need to map out a space on the desktop to lay any papers you’re working with. Another quick and easy way to maximise your productivity at work is to keep a potted plant on your desk. Plants reduce stress, clean the air and even help you recover from demanding activities. And prevent paperwork clutter by digitalizing. Use a high speed scanner for documents you’re ready to file.
Achieving an organised deskThe first rule to organising your physical or digital desktop is to establish what you actually need on a daily basis and removing everything else into a drawer, cupboard, shelf, folder or bin. For everything left on your desk you want to make sure that it’s within arm’s reach so you’re not stretching awkwardly to access anything. Use folders and files to keep papers organised and tidy, storing current projects in a step file for easy access. It’s also important to configure everything for the most ergonomic environment. It makes no sense to have everything looking nice but too uncomfortable to function effectively. There are amazing ergonomic accessories that will transform your desk to fit you rather than make you fit it.
Maintaining an organised deskDon’t let all your good work go to waste. Once you’ve cleaned things up it’s easy to keep it that way. Avoid procrastination and set a daily reminder to spend the last 10 minutes of every day tidying up. 10 minutes is an achievable amount of time that isn’t overwhelming. Stick to the 10 minutes and build trust with yourself by not going over, even if it means stopping mid-task. Rewarding yourself by ticking it off your to-do list each day will instill a positive connection and help you to form the habit. Use this time to put everything where it belongs, including items that shouldn’t stay on your computer’s desktop. Prepare your to-do list for the next day now so you’ll work better tomorrow. And leave your desk in a state that wouldn’t embarrass you if your boss (or mum!) saw it.
There’ll be no more nasty looks once you’ve cleaned up your act. Your organised desk will be the envy of your colleagues and help you to work better. Who knows, looking professional and being more productive could even lead to a pay rise or promotion!