An organized workspace will improve your productivity. Decluttered spaces reduce anxiety and stress and improve critical thinking. Here are four easy steps to take to reduce clutter and keep you working in a state of flow on national clean off your desk day.
1) Store items digitally
There is no faster way to clear your desk than to store your paper clutter digitally. This can take a while to set up, but once you have a system you will be able to access all your files from any device you use.
You don’t need a fancy scanner to do this. All you really need is your phone. On an Android phone, the app Office Lens by Microsoft allows you to scan documents, business cards, and whiteboards.
Be careful when you are saving your scans. They will be impossible to find unless you name the file with something that you will remember. The goal of naming any file is to know what the file is without opening it.
2) Use your drawers and shelves
Another way to a clean workspace is to use your drawers and shelves. This does not mean you shove everything you can into hidden spaces, but place what is useful out of sight. You might store magazine holders with files or frequently accessed documents on a shelf above the desk while staplers and paper clips live in a drawer nearby. Utilize what you have to have a clean workspace to focus on your most important projects and tasks.
Drawer dividers are helpful in containing small items in a desk drawer. You can use an organizer tray for office supplies to keep work surfaces clear. You want to be able to open your drawer and easily reach for what you need. If you are shuffling things around to get at what you need it’s time to purge the drawer and recalibrate.
3) Remove what does not need to be there
To make work more enjoyable we may bring in knick-knacks that remind us of family and good times. We like to make our spaces inviting and fun to be in. Sometimes that leads to unnecessary clutter.
One of the first steps in cleaning your workspace is to take everything off. Yes, everything! This is the only way to wipe everything clean and get a sense of what you need and don’t need.
After you have wiped down your desk, put back only what you need. Knick-knacks are fine and greenery has been said to increase productivity, but use these items sparingly. The goal of a desk is to accomplish tasks. If we don’t have space to focus we won’t get anything done.
4) Take time to recalibrate at the end of the day
This is what will keep you space clutter-free. Take 5-10 minutes at the end of each day to recalibrate and straighten any clutter. Either scan pieces of paper or file them away in a file cabinet. Place items back in the drawer that are immediately needed upon returning to work the next day. Wipe down your space and feel good about what you have accomplished.
National clean off your desk day may only happen once a year, but you can take time every day to keep your area decluttered.
Need help creating a system? Reach out and book a Tidy Talk so we can create a system that works for you.