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Keep a tidy work desk

Sunday, July 22, 2012


There is the assumption that people who have untidy workspaces have also lost control of their lives. I couldn’t agree more. After all, what would you think of your doctor or bank teller if they had untidy desks with instruments and bills strewn around? You’d probably think: If these professionals couldn’t tidy up their desks, then they probably can’t do their jobs properly! In fact, I’ve been embarrassed to ask family and friends over out of the fear of them seeing my desk. It might give them the impression that I’m not taking care of myself properly. For those working in the office, what kind of impression do you think you’ll be giving your bosses and colleagues when they see your messy desks? They would probably think you couldn’t handle your job or the promotion they were considering you for. So if you have a messy desk, start organising your workspace with the following steps:
1. Clear everything out and start cleaning your desk.
I like starting out with a clean slate. Remove all items from your desk and put them into a pile for sorting. This is also the best time to start cleaning. Use a damp cloth, duster or any other useful tool to wipe off any dirt or dust from your desk. The result of a clean and shiny desk is like the light at the end of a dark cave, enough to push anyone to continue with this tidying process. After this, you can place basic items like your PC or laptop and desk lamp back on your desk. Make sure the wires of these appliances pass through the back of your desk to avoid tripping over any of them.
2. Sort, then keep or throw.
Alas, I found this the bloodiest part of the process, especially with the mountains of papers that I had. Despite that, I found this step incredibly beneficial because I was able to get rid of a lot of junk. The first thing you should do is to sort your items into different piles, one each for your papers, pens, etc. Next, start going through them and decide whether you should throw or keep them. Try to be reasonable while deciding. Do you really need that takeout menu from a restaurant that closed down five years ago? As for your office supplies, test your pens to see which ones have run out of ink. Throw out supplies no longer useful, like that broken ruler you had lying around.
3. Classify and store your files.
Classify the papers that you’ve decided to keep according to time. Documents that you need for current work should be kept in your desk. Place them into different folders categorised according to the document’s nature or whether they are incoming or outgoing. Files not for immediate use can be stored in cabinets.
4. Putting things back.
It’s always good to visualise how you want your desk to look like before putting any other items back. While doing so, remember that it’s better to put your documents and supplies within your reach. However, it’s also good to leave enough space between your items so that they won’t look too congested.
Place your supplies in desk organisers or other space-saving holders to maximise free space. Also, remember to not put any distracting items like books and other entertainment materials back to your desk!
5.  Start personalising!
You’re practically done! Now is the time to add some colour and pizzazz to your workspace by personalising it. Display some picture frames of yourself and your loved ones. You can also add a few decorations like a small toy to make your desk look livelier. It’s not an easy process, but it’s worth it once you start having a desk that’s more conducive to work. Now that you have clean and tidy desk, just remember that maintenance is the key. Don’t procrastinate organising your desk regularly or you might end back where you were at the start.


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