Stress…Anxiety…Monday morning blues every single day of the week….ever wondered what the reason might be? Well, that place where you spend one third of your day, your Work Desk, perhaps isn’t comforting enough.
Mess and clutter, are an immediate turn off. And that holds true even for your office desk, a pleasant working environment sure boosts one’s productivity. Research shows that 57% of supervisors, co-workers, and clients pass judgment based on how dirty or clean people keep their workspaces. You may be a worthy employee but a messy desk leaves a poor impression.
So, let’s walk you thru some easy tips & tricks that’ll help you start your work day on the right foot and also leave a lasting impression on your colleagues and customers alike.
Quick picks to reduce “stuff” on your desk.
The first initiative one can take is to reduce the number of things that hold permanent acreage on the desk. Such as –
Files & Binders
If you are one of those who works on multiple ongoing projects, then Create a System…prioritize, label, separate and keep the current on top. Gather like items together. Divide the “keep” papers or files into two lots: active and reference. Place them in order of necessity. Try not to pile; rather organize in vertical folder holders or binders on your wall or the side of your desk for easy access.
Let incoming letters and paper mails sit in one box at the corner of your desk. Best is to use a stacked In/Out tray
Bunch of power cords, telephone cables, network connection, etc can not only get messy but also gather dust. Designate an out-of-the-way spot, via a hole or side of the table or install conduits, wood panels, cable boxes or cable cords, so they do not need to be continually shifted about. Make your desk look presentable top to toe.
Printers and Scanners
Find a spot off your desk if possible, or better still opt for common printer that everyone in the office can share
Too many supplies, pens and notepads can be annoying, keep only what you need and stash the rest in a drawer or a common Stationery supplies cabinet.
Bags and purses are meant to be close, but their place is in a drawer or a cabinet, where it is safe and away.
Start with these measures and implement them bit by bit or if you can afford to take time off for a day then empty your entire desk and re organize it all over again. From there on its good to schedule a clean-up day, a particular day in a week or a month.
Bottom line…Your office desk should hold only essentials such as computer, a phone, and paper work that needs immediate attention.
Digitize and also Go Green
In this digital age, we are morally obliged to reduce usage of paper and also help the environment. Going digital and working with “soft” copies is the way to go. Some ideas to adopt are –
Notes are just reminders; how long do you need them? Rather feed these bits of information into electronic software such as on-line post-it notes, One-Note, EverNote, or even the computer desktop and say bye bye to the tiny space eaters
Contacts and Business Cards
Business Cards are an unavoidable but a vital and ever going stack. But thanks to technology…Microsoft Outlook and other CRMs (Customer Relationship Management software) include note sections where you can provide information about the person and the meeting. Otherwise use a scanning app such CamCard and digitize them. It’s a lot faster to find and occupies much lesser space
Papers and Documents
Magazines, reading material, mails or previous month’s records are sure to have a copy online. Let them shred in peace! Keep a habit of storing and finding them digitally
Other (non-physical) Types of Clutter
Clutter might not only be physical. How many times has a thought, idea or action item popped into your head and then disappeared…and then we keep wondering what it was and simply not able to recall it due to the mental clutter in our heads. Well, add it to your to-do list or assign it to your calendar…this helps you to focus priority items first and then take up these for subsequent action by easy reference.
Clutter can also be technological. Your computer, smart phone, iPad or Kindle can be loaded with useless documents and apps. It prevents you from being creative and saps your energy and focus. So, uninstall or delete!
Everyday take a few minutes before you leave work to clear off your desk and make it presentable. The reason; when you walk into the office the next day, you will be cheerful and can get down to work right away with a big smile. Make your office desk a part of you, and you will keep it like your home! Sparkling, non-messy and clean.