A recent study has found that the clutter on your desk directly affects your
productivity, and without it you would be working with a lot more efficiency.
Furthermore, it also has an impact on your mental state; people working with messy desks are more frustrated and weary that those with a clean desk, and give up with challenges much more easily.
Research has also been done into what your boss actually thinks of your messy desk. Over half of employers find sloppiness and disorganised workspaces the most distracting and irritating habit an employee can have – however, if a desk is too clean and empty it raises a red flag. Thus it is vital to maintain an organised desk, without it coming across as lifeless and bare.
Therefore, the first step for a calmer and happier mind, and a more productive work day, is decluttering your desk. We have compiled a short list of 5 steps you can take to produce a more efficient and thoughtful workspace.
Firstly, you must single out the essentials, and identify what you actually need to have within arm’s reach. The more you use an item, the closer to you it should be, so position your pens, phone, coffee mug and other essential items somewhere you can easily reach them when they are needed. A helpful rule is that if you use it once a day or less, it should not be sitting on your desk.
Secondly, it is important to divide the clutter on your desk into piles, to make sure you don’t throw away something important or keep something unnecessary. For example, you could divide everything into a ‘keep’ pile, a ‘take home’ pile and a ‘rubbish’ pile. Furthermore, it is a good idea to maintain a ‘to-do’ folder or pile, so you always know what your next task is.
Next, you must give everything a place, and maintain it. Once you have arranged your desk and drawers, sustaining this level of organisation is not as hard as you imagine. Get labelled binders to organise your papers, with a folder for all receipts, a tray or hook for all your keys, and a space for coins and miscellaneous items. Once this system has been founded, try to maintain it rigidly – once you mess up a drawer it becomes easy to put unnecessary items in there and eventually completely abandon your system.
Then, once you have cleared out and organised your desk, perhaps consider some upgrades – having a few new things can renew your motivation and create a more uplifting environment. You don’t have to splash out on anything expensive, but some small upgrades can boost your morale – and also show your boss that you take your job seriously, and are aspiring towards good things.
We hope this article can help towards a positive mental health in your work environment, a more rewarding and productive day at work, and maybe even a better relationship with your boss