A cluttered workspace not only prevents you from getting work done, but it also creates more stress and anxiety than necessary. In fact, the average person wastes 4.3 hours per week simply by having a messy desk.
It’s time to cut the clutter and regain your productivity. By being consistent, adopting new systems, and getting an organized desk, you can wave bye-bye to the mess and finally get some work done.
To help you get started, let’s look at 8 secrets to having an organized desk.
Having a functional workspace is more than about throwing a computer onto a desk and calling it good. The layout of your desk plays a huge role in setting the productivity level.
Your computer monitor should be in front of you at eye level. Keep your phone on your dominant side to avoid reaching across your work area. Plus, only keep out the office supplies you need.
Most importantly, make sure you leave plenty of white space on your dominant side. This is the clean desk area you use as an active workspace. Use it to review documents, take notes, or whatever else you need to work on.
Creating piles of papers make it easy to lose track of what needs to get done. Starting a two tray system not only keeps your desk tidy, but it also lets you see what’s next on the to-do list.
One tray is for keeping documents that need your attention. The second tray contains papers that need filing. You can also add a third for papers that are ready to go to the shredder.
If you’re one that tends to lose documents to the bottom of a pile, consider having a stand-up folder system instead of the trays. Stand-up folders keep papers in the bottom of a stack visible and easy to access.
Chances are, you don’t need to keep a physical copy of most of your paperwork. To get an organized desk, it’s time to go digital.
Scan a PDF form of your documents into the computer. Keeping electronic folders and files will make accessing your papers easy. Once you have them scanned, either shred the hard copies you don’t need or file away the ones you do.
Or use services that take care of the paperwork for you, such as a company formation service when starting up your business. You’ll have easy access to the paperwork you need without it cluttering up your work area.
Personal knick-knacks and pictures make a desk feel homey. Yet, they’re also unintentional ways to keep yourself distracted from the task at hand. To stay focused, declutter your desk of unneeded items.
Instead of grouping family photos on your desk, hang them on the wall. Move all knick-knacks to a bookshelf or nearby table.
Decluttering also goes for the numerous post-its stuck to your computer monitor. After a while, the post-its blend together and loses its effectiveness. Keep one to-do list instead, only reserving post-its for important reminders.
Office furniture can make a big difference in your productivity level. By having alternative options for storage, you can keep an organized desk and focus on your work.
File cabinets are the perfect solution for paperwork. Move the file pile off your desk and create color-coded folders to keep the cabinet organized.
Nearby bookshelves are a place to house your books, baskets, file boxes, or anything else you need to keep off your desk.
Even a furniture unit with built-in drawers will hide office supplies and materials you don’t want displayed for everyone to see.
Everything should have its own place on your desk and in your desk. Drawer dividers help cut down the clutter while still giving your stuff an easy to find home.
When things pile into a drawer haphazardly, it may be off your desk, but it wastes more time as you try to find the item you need. It also makes it easy to forget you even have an item, causing you to buy duplicate supplies.
Organizers such as clear acrylic drawer dividers let you see what you have and gives each item their own compartment. You can easily grab what you need and get back to work without wasting time.
You can help yourself keep an organized desk by setting up a regular cleaning schedule of your work area.
At the need of each day, wipe down your desk. This will force you to go through clutter lying around and put it away.
While you’re doing that, also go through all your paperwork. Decide what needs your attention, what can go into files, and what can go to the shredder.
Then once a week do a deep cleaning. Re-organize office supplies that are out of place, re-file folders that are laying around, and deal with any documents you missed. That’s also the time to purge things you no longer use.
Your work area isn’t only confined to your desk, it also includes your computer’s desktop. Even if your desk is spotless, a cluttered desktop will continue to slow your work way down.
At least once a week, go through the icons on your desktop and clean up stray files. Create more folders if needed to store files, making sure they’re organized and easy to find.
Then go through those folders and delete anything you no longer need. Getting rid of old files will free up space and make finding those important files easier when you need them.
Don’t let the clutter control you any longer. By using these tips for an organized desk, you can set up the workspace you need to get the job done.
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