Cleaning your desk off at the end of the year can provide a good sense of completing the old year and ushering in the new one. By reviewing what is needed and what is not, you get the chance to see if you are making progress.
Someone told me that the “National Clean Off Your Desk Day” is the second Monday in January, so I must be starting early.
I tend to work in flurries. Stacks of papers, sticky notes, scribbles, letters, hard copy scattered all over my desk while I am working through an issue. When I get the job done – I clean up.
Here are some more tips that I wish I would follow:
- The top of your desk is not for storage. It is a work surface. Don’t keep things on your desk longer than they have to be there. Move them to storage on ly if you need to keep them. Otherwise, take action on them and get rid of them. Don’t keep items on your desk that you do not use every day. If you need them every so often, then put them somewhere in reach other than your desk.
- Empty your inbox at least once a week if not every day (you do have an inbox don’t you?). Mine gets piled pretty high before I get to it. I find that most of it is just junk mail and items that I do not really need to address right away so I tend to push it off. Not a good idea. I have found a few invoices and payables in there from time to time that have not been taken care of – not good. Just when I think I have it under control – stuff starts piling up again.
- Personal items should be limited. We have an office policy at my firm that states that you cannot have all the “stuff” that people usually have in their cubicle or office. Keep it within limits. So much of our area could be claimed for personal items that it might start looking like a college dorm room. It is not. It is you “work” area. keep it looking that way. A couple of photos is enough – it’s not like you are going to forget what your family looks like.
- Keeping the clutter down can make you more productive, but don’t go overboard. Remember that you do have to actually work on things, which means at any given time there may be a smattering of papers, books and items on your desk.
Just be sure to clean up when you are done.