Office life can be overwhelming. And your disorganised desk might be causing some of that overwhelm. If you’re drowning under a deluge of paper, it might be time to have a little desktop declutter and reclaim your workspace!
- Don’t hoard all your gadgets on top of your desk. Split and store them by frequency of use. Things you need all day, every day (pens, notepad, stapler maybe plus laptop/pc and phone obviously) – these should be on your desktop – they’re your family and best friends! Things you need occasionally during the week or month (hole-punch, spare staples, bull-dog clips, month-end check list, reference books) should be within reach but shouldn’t take up desk space. And things you never use, but need to hold on to (monthly files perhaps) can easily go somewhere else.
- Prioritise your paperwork. Have a system in place so you can locate what you need, quickly and easily. Whatever works best for your needs is fine, but here’s a possible suggestion. Have an in-tray for all new items. keep a separate tray for work in progress, that you need to keep referring to. And have a separate tray for completed paperwork that needs to be filed. At the end of each day, if you have anything that can be shredded, do that. It’s a nice way to finish off the day with a clean slate!
- Clear out your drawers. We’ve all been guilty of it. Shoving that piece of paper in a plastic file, and sticking it in a drawer, out of sight and out of mind. But if you keep doing this, it won’t take long before your drawers are overflowing, and you have to start using your precious desk space. And then your desk becomes overcrowded and you;re back to your disorganised overwhelm again. Once a month, take an hour at the end of the day (I used to do it on a Friday afternoon after month-end chaos was over) and go through the paperwork in your drawers – if you don’t need it, bin it. If it needs filing, file it. And if it needs action, put it in your work in progress tray so you don’t forget about it.