If you struggle to keep your office desk organised, this page is for you! Having a cluttered office desk not only makes it harder to find things when you need them, it also sends out entirely the wrong message. Rightly or wrongly, tidiness is linked closely with productivity and it is that productivity that your colleagues and your boss are going to be interested in.
So even if you don’t mind being disorganised at home, your office desk has to be considered differently.
Here are four top tips to keep your office desk organised.
Wipe the slate clean
Having a quick tidy up usually doesn’t achieve much and you can quickly find yourself back where you started. So wipe the slate clean, empty your desk and start again. Put everything in a box and return only the essential items. When you need something, get it out of the box, use it and find a new home for it.
After a week or two, anything left in the box is likely surplus to requirements and can be put in storage or be recycled.
Go with the flow
Another tip to keep your office desk organised is to create a flow. Keep a pen and paper close to the phone. Store your most used items in the top drawer and lesser used items in the lower drawer.
Depending on the orientation of your desk, have work needing attention on one side that flows in a single direction as you do it and then once it’s completed. Left to right works well in Western cultures as that is the direction we read. Have your inbox on the left, shift it right to work on it and then right again into a completed section. Then you always know where you are and how much work you have to do.
Get into the habit of clearing your office desk at the end of each day. Do it every day and is should only take a couple of seconds. Leave it longer and it will take longer. Tidy away everything you can into its proper place before you leave. Then everything is ready for when you begin work.
Many offices want to go paperless to save money and resources. Even if your office isn’t paperless, scanning paperwork instead of piling it up can help keep you organised and can help you find what you’re looking for within seconds. You could also convert all your documents into pdf and file them digitally. Create secure folders to keep your scans and/or files and you will never be without.
Keeping your office desk organised makes life easier and projects exactly the kind of professionalism companies look for. Even if it’s an effort or goes against the grain, it is a career-enhancing task that could pay dividends in the long run.