Life Hacks: The Solution to a Messy Desk

By July 3, 2015 life hacks No Comments

Heaps of post-it notes stuck everywhere, desk hidden under piles of paperwork, more stationery than you’ll ever possibly use…

Wishing your desk looked like this instead?

photo credit: jeff sheldon, source: unsplash

photo credit: jeff sheldon, source: unsplash

Don’t worry you’re not alone! The next logical step after focusing your mind is managing your workspace, so you can stay focused and productive at your desk, too…

Brace yourself…what you read next might change your entire life…

While some researchers have debated that messy workspaces actually breed creativity, more often than not it’s just stuff you haven’t gotten around to tidying yet – Let’s be real…no matter how creative you want to be, you won’t get very far if you can’t find the right pieces of paper! (can I get an AMEN?)

75% of us struggle with this problem, so here’s a handy dandy list of top tips from our undercover superheroes, sharing how we manage to simplify and de-clutter:

  • Touch it ONCE technique

    For every piece of new paper/email/whatever that passes by your desk, vow to touch it once and then do something with it.  Your choices are simple:

    • take action on it – read it, reply back and/or do the task required
    • chuck it – recycle it, remove it, turn it into art…just clear it from your desk and your life
    • file it – (sidenote, do people have filing cabinets anymore? carry on.) save it in dropbox, put it into your vendor database, move it off your desk. (notice a theme here)
    • delegate it – your team will love you for this…but really, some things are better handled by others.  Delegate the task to someone more qualified on your team if this falls under their job description.
  • Use a calendar to record your to-do’s and color-code them.

    This is a far more concise way of listing everything you have to do, rather than piling the papers on your desk and hoping you’ll remember to complete them on time. By using a simple color-coding system: red – needs to be done urgently, orange – currently working on, green – completed, it’s easy to keep up-to-date with all your tasks and to see what needs to be done first.

  • Finish the day with a 5-minute clear-up

    It may be the last thing that you want to do at the end of a long day, but making sure everything has been put away properly will save time in the long-run! Once you get into a habit of it, tidying up should only take a few moments and it means you have a clean workspace to come into in the morning.  Plus, in this day in age of hot-desking, your desk might not be your desk anymore, sharing it with others on your team.  So, tidy it up, so nothing gets lost day in and day out.  Plus, it feels like a big exhale at the end of the day…and who doesn’t like breathing!?

Whether you want to book more brides, be quicker at replying to clients or take on new projects, you are guaranteed that if you put these best practices into action with your daily routine, you productivity will improve and look like a superhero to your clients and team.

Give it a try and keep your eyes peeled for our future Life Hacks to save you time, minimize stress and boost productivity!

QUESTION: what’s one thing you do to minimize clutter in your office?

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