Let’s organize your desk!

Whether your desk is at the office or at the home office, it’s a place where productivity is key. But if your desk (like many desks) holds too much paperwork, how the heck do you get anything done? 

Over the next four weeks, I’ll show you my expert tips for turning your desk from cluttered to calm. That way you can focus and do your best work! Let’s start with paperwork. 

There are three major traps that people fall into when it comes to their desk. Do any of these sound like you? 

Trap 1: Wanting everything at hand.

While a Homer-Simpson-esque desk setup where all the buttons and knobs are within arm’s reach sounds nice, it’s actually very good for you to have to get up to get things. According to the University of Michigan Human Resources, you should get up and move around “approximately three minutes every 30 – 60 minutes.” If your printer is a few steps away, turn printing into a mini-break and get your body moving. 

It’s also good to have some room around you! You can stretch out and actually do things with your desk. If you have everything you could possibly need on your desk at once, where do you put your coffee?

Trap 2: Leaving incomplete projects sitting around.

Few things are more stressful than running into something you need to do while you’re trying to get something else done. It’s a good idea to make a “work in progress” station that’s near your desk where you can collect them. That way you can focus on what you’re doing in the moment, and when you’re done you can see options for what to do next. 

Trap 3: Not clearing paperwork at the end of a project. 

When you finish a project, it’s okay to let go of the stuff you used to get it done. If you like to review previous drafts that’s okay, but limit your paperwork when possible. Notes that you compiled elsewhere or are unnecessary now can go. If something isn’t directly useful, and the project is finished, get it out of your way! Pare it down to the essentials, and store them somewhere out of the way. 

Manage your paperwork consistently until it becomes a habit. It’s much easier to do a little bit each day than do a ton once a week!

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