How to Organize Your Desk in Less Than 10 Minutes

image of organized deskKick off the new year right with these tips for quickly organizing your workspace.

  1. Remove distractions. Ask yourself what actually needs to be on your desk.
    • Ditch the knick-knacks (when was the last time you actually used the stress-ball you got free from a trade show 3 years ago?).
    • Your colleagues don’t care about your pictures. Chances are you’ve got hundreds of photos on your phone that are way more current than anything sitting in a frame. Show those to your co-workers (cue eyeroll) and limit yourself to one personal photo on your desk.
    • Candy dish. Nope. It attracts visitors, takes up space, and most likely tempts you to eat when you’re not hungry.

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  1. Ditch office supplies. It’s the 21st century and paper clips aren’t going to make a comeback.
    • Designate a drawer for office supplies you use on occasion. Staplers, notepads, etc. will still be within arm’s reach, but out of view.
    • 2 pens. Seriously. You don’t need a pen container full of ball-points and highlighters. Put a few extra in your office supply drawer and get rid of the rest.
  1. The war on cords. Take the time to tame your cords. Use zip ties, power strips, etc. to get things under control.

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  1. Digital documents. Do you truly need a physical “in-box”? Document storage has gone digital. Reduce paper use and if it’s necessary, keep it off your work surface and in a file.
  2. Eat elsewhere. It’s been said that “sitting is the new smoking”. If you need a snack, take 5 minutes, walk to the kitchen and eat there. You’ll stretch your legs, clear your mind, and eating at work becomes a conscious decision. Bring fresh snacks daily. If you only have a banana, you’ll only eat a banana. If you have a drawer full of crackers and cookies… well, you know.
  3. Computer desktop. Extra icons and files equal clutter and clutter equals distraction. Keep computer desktop items to a minimum.
  4. At the end of every day make sure your workspace is completely clear. This allows you to start fresh the next morning. Your to-do list won’t be dictated by yesterday’s stuff and you’ll appreciate a clean start to the day.

Removing distractions and keeping a tidy desk is the first step towards your most productive year ever.


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