Organised Desks and Increased Productivity
Understanding why an organised desk leads to increased productivity and how to achieve it will help us to actually get it done.
Your workplace productivity has a direct relationship to your overall happiness and wellbeing, so it seems logical that you would be seeking ways to increase your productivity. One simple solution in the office is an organised desk.
Why is productivity important?
To put it simply, you were hired to get a job done. You’ve been given a set amount of work to achieve in a set amount of time. When you achieve this goal you help your business to succeed in their overall goal, and contribute towards its profitability and hence the security of your position and income.
How an organised desk leads to increased productivity
One solution to increase your productivity is to organise your desk. A Princeton study from 2011 proves that a messy environment makes it harder for you to focus and process information because too many things are competing for your attention. Physical and digital clutter overloads your senses, making you stressed and decreasing your creative thinking. They were able to conclude that you need to clear the clutter for increased productivity. Having the autonomy to make decisions about your own workspace has also been shown to increase your productivity by up to 32%, and since your desk or workstation is probably the only part of your workplace you have any control over, you should transform it into your personal, productive oasis free from unnecessary mess.
Organising your desk
There are so many useful and gorgeous products to help get you sorted and personalise your workspace. To start with you will need:
- a desk organiser for the pens, markers, highlighters and paperclips you use every day
- several document trays to manage new and ongoing pieces of paper that come to your desk
- a step file for ready access to projects you’re working on
- a tidy bin and a recycling bin
- magazine files for booklets, catalogues or other bound documents
- a Post-it dispenser for all your quick notes
- a diary to keep track of your to-dos, meetings, and more
Rules for an organised desk
- Create a place for everything – a place for everything and everything in its place makes it easier to find what you’re looking for and where to put things.
- Keep it in arm’s reach – if you need it regularly you should be able to reach it easily. This applies most importantly to the bin – if it’s not close-by you’ll accumulate rubbish on your desk.
- Daily items on the desktop only - if you don’t need it regularly, move it somewhere else – into a drawer, onto a shelf or in the bin!
- Purge – don’t need it, don’t keep it at your desk. If you’re finished with something and it needs to be filed, file it straight away. If it needs to be binned, bin it straight away.
- If in doubt, chuck it out – is not just a mantra for a healthy fridge, but works well at your desk, too. Got any doubts about whether you need to keep it or not, then toss it out, otherwise it will just become clutter.
- Label it – for items that are being filed or need to be labelled permanently, use a labeller or labelling machine. For folders in your step file you can use Post-it notes to label them, keeping them unmarked for future use.
- Keep a diary handy – a physical diary will help you to jot down important dates, reminders and to-dos quickly and easily, plus you are more likely to remember and commit to something you handwrite. It can double as a notebook, keeping track of messages, ideas and notes.
- Don’t forget your digital desktop – keeping files and folders on your computer’s desktop slows it down and makes it hard to find what you’re after. Create a logical filing system on your hard drive or server.
- Clear before you leave – commit to clearing your desk of clutter before you leave each day. Leave your desk in a state that wouldn’t embarrass you if your manager (or mum!) saw it.
Keeping your desk organised will help you to stay focussed, reduce time-wastage and increase productive. It will also help you to have a better attitude towards your work and to be perceived positively by those around you, including your boss. It’s time to get organised!