Keeping Your Desk Tidy: 6 Tips

Does your desk look like a hurricane just blew through it, or is there actually space for working? I’ve never been able to focus properly when things are helter skelter, and prefer a neat desk. Here are some tips for keeping your desk tidy.

Tips for keeping your desk tidy

1. Have a wastebasket within arm’s reach

Toss away any mess at once. Discard mail that has been dealt with. Junk envelopes and packaging the moment you open anything. And bin anything that doesn’t work anymore, like pens that run out of ink.

2. Store everything away from the desk top

Choose a desk with drawers, or have some other storage system at hand. Everything should be in its own storage area. I only have on my desk whatever I’m working on at the moment. Right now for instance, I only have my laptop. Even the laptop gets stored away when I’m working on something else. The only exception is plants, if you have any. These get to stay on the desk.

3. Create additional storage spaces

If the built-in drawers don’t offer enough storage space, you can get separate drawer sets or pegboards. Things that you don’t use on a daily basis can go into these additional spaces, leaving your desk clear for the things you have to do everyday, like work.

4. Allow only one pile

If you must leave documents visibly on your desk in case you forget to deal with them, leave them all in one pile. Or use stacked trays which allow you three little piles, one on top of another, for “In”, “Pending” and “Out”. There should ideally be only one stack of items you need to deal with on a daily basis.

5. Work on one thing at a time

Once an item is done, discard or store all associated documents before starting the next task. This keeps your desk clear, and gives a wonderful sense of accomplishment. Putting things away provides a sense of completion which is a great morale booster.

6. Tidy up before leaving

At the end of the day, put away everything even if not yet completed. Take it out again the next morning. Tidying up gives a nice sense of ‘going home’ and allows you to start the next day fresh and feeling in control when you see your neat desk.

Start keeping your desk tidy today

A tidy desk is a small thing that makes a big difference. Implement one tip a week, and after 6 weeks you’ll have a tidy desk. You’ll concentrate better when you work, and feel much more in control of your life. Try it!

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