A messy desk is a disaster zone. With all the stacks of paper, folders, books and periodicals it will be amazing if you find the things that you need. Slips of paper with jotted phone numbers and important notes are the most likely things to get lost among the stash on a messy desk. Documents and information for a project that you are currently working may likewise disappear in an instant if you keep looking at different folders and burying those that you need the most.
It does not mean that you are busy and productive just because you have a messy desk. It is not impressive to look at. It only means that you are too lazy to keep your desk organized and all that you need within easy reach. Well, if that is the case you need to set about cleaning your desk and finding a place for everything, including the trash can. Here goes.
- Start your organizing when you are not too busy and have more time to devote to the process of clearing your desk. Do the clearing up in batches so that the whole thing will not overwhelm you.
- Begin with the papers and folders on your desk. Get them all together and move to another table and begin sorting. Keep folders, a notebook, pen, fasteners, paper puncher, stapler, markers and paper clips handy.
- Sort all the paper and folders and keep them in separate piles. Review each one and decide which ones to throw away and which ones should go into existing folders. Make new files for other important papers and properly label the folders. Staple together those documents that are related to one single topic before you file them.
- Transfer the important notes and phone numbers in your personal planner or your notebook. Keep this notebook handy on your desk and use this to jot down reminders, notes and ideas that are worth exploring.
- Make it a habit to return the files you have taken out back into their proper folders. Keep loose sheets of paper into different folders and label them clearly. Have a handy portable filing cabinet or shelf on casters that you can place beside your desk within easy reach.
- Keep pens, pencils, erasers, rulers, scissors, and craft knife either in a rectangular tray inside your drawer or place them all together in a pen holder or a mug or any other handy receptacle with a weighted bottom. Throw away all those pens with inks that have dried up.
- Place your post-its and scratch papers near your phone, together with a pen. This will keep them very handy when you are talking on the phone to jot down information and phone numbers. Make sure that you transfer phone numbers and important dates on your planner at the end of the day.
- Keep books, reference materials, journals and other publication on another shelf or in storage bins and keep then under your table, beside it or on one of the shelves of your portable filing cabinet.
- File all the papers that you have accumulated and generated for the day before your work ends and make this a habit.
Force yourself to take the initial steps on getting organized and you will see the value of it later. An organized and uncluttered desk will help increase your productivity and efficiency as well as make you work faster.