Unfortunately, it is far too easy for a desk to become cluttered with all sorts of items such as coffee mugs, photos, nicknacks, and hundreds of papers. In fact, surveys have shown that the majority of people have so much clutter on their desk that they aren’t even able to see their workspace beneath it. Decreased organization in the office area has been shown to largely limit productivity. These following tips are a great way to minimize clutter and increase effectiveness.
Tip #1: Don’t Print Too Much
Although our email inboxes may be constantly brimming with unread messages, the benefit of email and computers is that there is little need to print out excess papers. Most of the time, presentations and documents can be sent via email instead of giving a hard copy to the intended person. This can successfully limit the amount of paper that gets stuck on your desk.
Tip #2: Manage Your Papers
Even though less paper is required, it is still difficult to control the amount that other people put on your desk. In order to organize these papers, set up a box where each document type can be placed on your desk. A great option is to have an inbox for documents that people drop of and stackable trays are an excellent way to accomplish this. An accordion file is also a great way to organize documents. You will also need a file or folder in which you can put completed papers that you might need at a later date. A filing cabinet is the best place for these files so that they are out of the way but are still easily accessible. And, perhaps the most important part, is to get rid of all of those papers which you don’t need anymore. A shredder and a recycling bin are a great addition to your office supplies as you can quickly get rid of regular papers as well as confidential information.
Tip #3: Never Lose Sight of Your System
As with other programs, it is so easy to lose sight of your goals. It is important to clean your office area every day so that you don’t end up with enormous mess within a couple of months. Additionally, make sure to check the document inbox at your desk twice a day to make sure that you are up to date. At least once a week, transfer all completed papers to a filing cabinet instead of letting them build up on your desk. And, once per month, throw out all unnecessary papers and other documents.
Tip #4: Limit Nicknacks
Although nicknacks can personalize a desk and make it homier, too many items on the desk can make the area far too cluttered. Therefore, choose the objects carefully and don’t overdo it.
Tip #5: Don’t Use Post-its
Although they used to be indispensable in an office, they are only beneficial in today’s age for marking documents. Post-its do not make good reminder notes as they often fall off your computer and add to the clutter on your desk. Instead, use an appointment book or notepad to remember important dates of required deadlines.
Tip #6: Use a Datebook
Allocate one area in which you can record all of the important information you need to remember. Doing this can limit the amount of paper and calendars on your desk and, if you use a computer calendar, you can eliminate the need for physical books or calendars altogether.
Tip #7: Only Keep Necessary Supplies
Many people keep extra supplies like pens and pencils in their desk although they are rarely used. Get rid of all of those pens and other supplies which don’t work and only keep the ones that work and that you need.
Tip #8: Don’t Pick Up Promotional “Stuff”
Job and insurance fairs often provide promotional items as a means of generating higher profits through an increased customer base. Although these objects may seem cute and useful at first, they often just end up taking up your desk space.
Tip #9: Keep Personal Items in One Place
Instead of dumping your keys, wallet, phone, and sunglasses in different areas, have one designated location for them. If you have a cell phone charger that you use at work, keep it in a drawer instead of plugged in on the floor to avoid clutter and eliminate the risk of tripping.
Tip #10: Don’t Eat at Your Desk
Many workers in offices eat at their desks, increasing the amount of trash in the area as well as stains on the desk and the carpet. It is best to eat in a cafeteria or in a park outside of the building. Not only can this reduce the clutter and trash in an area, you can also relax away from your office and enjoy a fun and soothing lunch.
John Brook reviews the latest office equipment for Office Kitten, one of the top business suppliers in the UK.