Tick tock, is it time to declutter your desk?
An ex co-worker of mine once staged an intervention. They couldn’t handle looking at my chaotic workspace any longer and insisted that I declutter my desk. That’s not why they’re an ex co-worker – just in case you’re wondering.
I have a tendency to work in what I think is organised chaos. But let’s be real – it’s just a hot mess. My space at home at work tends to be a reflection of my mental state. Ever heard that saying, “tidy desk, tidy mind?”
Not only does a decluttered workspace make you happier, it saves you time, reduces stress, and helps you become more productive.
If your office space is a “Hot Mess Express,” it might be time to clean house. Follow these quick and easy steps to declutter your desk today.
Set a timer.
Okay, you’ve got 60 minutes MAX. If you’ve just got a desk rather than a home office to declutter, it should take less time.
Yes, you want to do more than a superficial clearing of your desk, but don’t let this become a procrastination trap that means you avoid doing the more important tasks.
Setting an actual timer helps keep you moving and on track. Also, listen to this upbeat playlist that Mary created to help motivate you along.
One of my worst habits is letting papers pile up, but I rarely need hard copies.
Technology means we can keep hold of information without it taking up physical space. Where possible, scan files or take photo of papers and upload them to Dropbox, Google Drive or another online storage solution. It only takes a minute.
After reading Marie Kondo’s book, I felt the urge to throw out so much stuff. We often cling onto things “just in case” or because we’ve gotten used to having them there. I’m not saying you need to go through everything and see if it sparks joy, but do consider if you actually need an item on your desk or in your office.
Can items go into storage or is there a better place for them somewhere else in the office or at home?
Are you clinging onto something “just in case?” Let’s be honest, we almost never need those things!
Give everything it’s own place.
An easy way to keep your workspace tidy is to make sure that every item has it’s own place to sit in. Where do you keep your notebooks, pens, parperclips, and folders?
If everything has a place where it always returns to, you can avoid things ending up scattered or in piles that build up and take time to sort through. (Plus, you stop buying new pairs of scissors only to find you’ve got 5 pairs already!)
Restrict what goes on your desktop to stay focused.
Not everything needs to be within a split second reach at all times. In order to laser focus in on one task at a time, the less stuff there is on your desk to distract you, the better.
Limit items to the basics that you need and perhaps a couple of personal items – a family photo and maybe a motivational quote or thank you card from a client. That’s really all you need. And okay, your water bottle, too.
Make decluttering a habit.
Little and often keeps you on track and stops tidying up from becoming an overwhelming task that you are pushing off to a later date. When I only have a small amount to do, I actually find tidying to be relaxing and motivating. It kickstarts my momentum for getting other things done.
Declutter your desk today and I guarantee you will notice a difference in your ability to laser focus in and get more things done with less stress!
Resources we recommend:
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