How To Keep Your Desk Organized For Maximum Productivity


Photo by LUM3N on Pixabay

Whether you have a desk at home or in the office, most of us will have a designated workspace. Even if you simply use your kitchen table - keeping your space tidy is essential to make your mind ready for work. 

This is a collaborative post

Especially for those who run multiple jobs or side hustles, your desk can get crowded with all the things you need from your different revenue streams. When your desk is overwhelmingly messy from your many roles, it can be tempting to turn to an instant cash solution scam, but the truth is keeping your desk tidy isn’t that hard, as long as you know what to do. 

Why does a tidy space make you feel more productive?

A cluttered desk can cause problems for several reasons. You can lose important documents in a mess, struggle to focus, and put your mind into a state of disorder too. As they say: ‘tidy desk, tidy mind.’

When your desk is full of irrelevant stuff, you can find yourself more distracted than you should be. Finding an old letter you’d forgotten to reply to - distracted. Finding that ring you’ve been searching for weeks - distracted. Finding a piece of paper to doodle on - distracted. When you have an organized desk, there is no threat of distractions, allowing you to focus on your work and your work only. 

Taking time to clear your desk at the end of the day can actually provide relief from the stress of a job. This time will give your mind a stepping-off point from your working life and your home life. Plus, it ensures you will return to a clear desk the next day. 

How can you keep your desk clean?

Prioritize what’s on your desk: As with any workspace, there will be certain things that stay on your desk. The trick is to make sure you don’t have too much piling on your desk - otherwise, that can become a big mess. Instead, only leave things on your desk that you use every day. If you use certain things every day, it’s fair to assume you need them at hand, with easy access. Leaving them on your desk will help with this. Even though they are left out on your desk, they should still be tidy. Find a spot for them on your desk, like a small pile to your right. This way, your desk can still look neat. 

Organization: Investing in some equipment to help you stay organized is worthwhile. Whether this is getting a pen pot, putting up some shelves, or buying color-coded box files to store all your key documents, having organizational infrastructure will give everything a place. When everything has a home, it’s much easier to tidy up. No more shoving papers into a drawer - they live in the blue box file!

Have a clear out: Now you’ve decided to live a more organized life, it’s time to get rid of all your unnecessary clutter. Take a morning to take stock of everything you currently have in your workspace. Then, decide what needs to go. Be ruthless! You probably don’t need twenty pens, just two or three. When it comes to an excess of useful things (like stationery), it can help to keep these things for the future. But you don’t need to store them on your desk. Stick them in storage or up in the attic. By removing all these unnecessary extras, you’ll have more space for the actual things you use, and your desk is less likely to get messy. 

Photo by JessBaileyDesign on Pixabay

Look up: Putting things above your desk will create space on your desk. This could be by building shelves above your desk and storing items there. This way, your necessities are still in reach but not cluttering up your desk. Similarly, getting a stand for your laptop or computer will lift it off the desk. This can both help with your physical health (i.e. your posture) but also will allow more room on your desk, as your computer is lifted above it.

Keep your cables straight: We’ve all seen the horror of a wire tangle. Nothing is scarier than that. Sometimes, when you need one wire in particular, you can give up on your whole plan when you see it is part of a wire nest. Let’s avoid this with our new tidy desk. Keeping cables managed isn’t actually as hard as it sounds. You might have to spend a good half hour detangling wires to prepare for this stage, but it’ll be worth it. If you stick to this tip, you shouldn’t have to detangle wires ever again. With tape and a pen, mark what each cable is used for. Then, get a cable tray to keep all wires separate and straight. If you don’t want to buy anything, you can use zip ties or clips to keep your wires separate. 

Clean your desk: We’ve talked a lot about keeping your desk tidy, but keeping your desk clean is just as important. Think about it: everyone spends so much time at their desk - sometimes more time is spent at your desk than anywhere else - but keeping it clean isn’t always your first thought. People sometimes eat at their desks, which only adds to the bacteria that can build up. Each night, after you’ve tidied your desk in preparation for the next day, also take some antibacterial spray and a cloth and give everything a wipe down. This goes for laptops or computers, too - think about how much your hands touch the keyboard, and you’ll want to give it a wipe down. 

Tidy desk, tidy mind

Keeping your desk tidy isn’t hard, and it’ll make such a difference. You’ll see your productivity rise, your focus increase, and your general wellbeing improve. As long as you stay on top of regular tidying, you shouldn’t slip back into messy habits. And if you do - well, this blogpost is always here to return to. 



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