This blog post was inspired by the Netflix show, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.” Kondo is a tidying EXPERT who helps homeowners “transform” their space… and their lives. Oddly addicting—highly recommended.
Truth be told, my desk at BCL is not the neatest space—papers scattered, assorted beverages, and random cords, BUT in the spirit of spring cleaning, I am trying to make my desk, and my life in general, neater and cleaner. Care to join me in this adventure?
Why should you keep your desk space tidy?
First of all, it makes you more efficient. Keeping everything in a specific place and knowing where items are located will help you find things when you need them. You’ll know exactly where your post-its live and precisely where you put that particular document. Having an organized desk will keep you on track and help you to prioritize your projects and reach your goals faster.
Secondly, it helps keep sensitive information safe; leaving documents floating around your desk can put your company and your clients at risk. Privacy concerns are no longer an issue when you’re properly organized.
Lastly, it makes you look more professional! With a tidy desk, you can project an image of competence. A cluttered or messy desk seems less professional and may make people think you are scattered or disorganized. What does your desk say about you? What do you want it to say?
Now that we’ve covered WHY we should all clean and re-organize our work spaces, let’s dive into the HOW.
8 Steps to a Tidy Desk
The purge: Organizing starts with a purge. Clear everything out of your folders, off of your desk, and out of your cabinets. Now that it’s all out in the open, you can decide what’s worth keeping and what must be thrown away. It will probably just be a lot of old documents, but who knows, maybe you’ll find a treasure map!
Clean your space: Take this time when your desk is empty of all your knick-knacks, file folders, and papers to wipe down your space. There are Clorox wipes at the reception desk if you need to borrow some!
Decide what needs to stay and what should go: No more hoarding! Some things are important and necessary and will need a dedicated folder or space, but other papers should be organized, dated, or thrown away/shredded.
Label and designate: Label all your items and assign them a particular place to be stored. Give your documents, office supplies, and mementos a proper home.
To drawer or not to drawer: Decide which items should be stowed away and which you use frequently enough to stay on the desk. For an optimally organized desk, keep most items out of sight and in a dedicated drawer.
Don’t go overboard with personal knick-knacks: While mementos, pictures, and souvenirs can be a nice reminder of the world outside of BCL, too many trinkets can be distracting. Organizational experts recommend keeping no more than three personal items on a desk.
Prioritize relevant and active projects: Work can be overwhelming when it gets backed up but it’s helpful to group projects according to importance. Examples of project grouping can be as follows 1) important and urgent, 2) urgent, but not necessarily important, 3) important, without urgency, 4) non-urgent and not important.
Reassess frequently: Reorganize and reassess your desk weekly. If an organizational tactic doesn’t work for you, don’t use it! Develop your own organizational systems to keep your desk neat, clean, and streamlined for optimal productivity levels.
And there you have it; this is a relatively simple process to follow and hopefully, it will help you feel more at peace while working at your desk. Feel free to swing by my desk to see how I’m coming along with the process and we can chat!