Brought To You By Emily Parks
Productivity Consultant at Organize For Success, LLC...
Helping You Make Every Minute Matter!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Boost Your Credibility and Productivity By Celebrating National Clean Off Your Desk Day

Happy National Clean Off Your Desk Day! Addressing the top of your desk can be important for several reasons, but I highlight the two I find most important and that pop-up most frequently in today's workspaces... First, now that more offices are open, collaborative spaces, fellow team members and office visitors can more easily see exactly how clean you keep your space; from that visual, people make assessments, and your credibility can be put into question. Second, your productivity depends on efficiently finding what you need when you need it; unfortunately, when your desk is covered with active and archive files, it can be more difficult to quickly put your hands on what you or your colleagues might need from amidst the chaos. Have no fear! There are steps you can take today to celebrate National Clean Off Your Desk Day which will positively impact your credibility and productivity, leading to more success in the near future.

1. Consider the available space in your office as you would a real estate investment, where "location, location, location" matters. Keep only those items used daily on your desktop; then, position items further and further away based on being used less and less frequently.

2. Often, the clutter atop your desk represents lingering decisions and unaddressed to-do items; therefore, assign homes to what active and archive items are in your space so they can always be put back in their homes when you are not currently using them. Work happens on your desk so you'll need to bring out the files being used for that work when it's happening; yet, when you know in what homes those items belong, you can more easily put them back away when not in use. Then, take the last 15 or so minutes in each day as a "check-up from the neck up" to wrap up your day, returning anything atop your desk to where it belongs and setting out whatever, items will be needed first-thing the next day. Knowing in what "homes" your items below helps to tie up all loose ends, adding resolution to the end of your day, and prepares you for the next day's priorities.

3. The more you keep then the more you have to peruse through in order to find what you need at any moment in time. Therefore, edit out any unnecessary items. Keep only what is accurate, applicable, useful and bringing you joy. Also, consider eliminating anything that can easily be found again online.

4. Be strategic in where you store what items you choose to keep. If you have a running list of all unfinished tasks, there's no need to keep their related files atop your desk; however, if they are active projects, you'll want to keep their files handy for easy access. When items are related, it's important to keep those items together, focusing on "like with like" for quick recovery when working on that to which they are related. Remember that "horizontal is hidden while vertical is visible", and utilize walls or the back of your door whenever possible; those areas can be valuable real estate, particularly as you are assigning homes to items in your workspace. Finally, utilize containers to limit the amount of any item to be retained; once the container is full, it's time to edit out unnecessary contents.

5. Since people, priorities and current projects continually evolve, no organizational system is ever completely finished. Therefore, continually evaluate how your office organization is working and adjust to meet evolving needs. As your situation changes, adjust accordingly.

Take a moment to look around right now. Does your desktop need a little TLC? If so, what steps can you take right now to celebrate National Clean Off Your Desk Day? Please share your success stories below... or read others' to get motivated for your own.
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