A clean desk will help you start 2016 more organized, improve your productivity, and give your creativity a boost.
Some say that a little clutter helps with productivity and creativity. Others say that a clean space is the only way to stay focused. What does the research say? This is where science doesn’t appear to have a clear answer. So many experts give advice, but end up saying to do whatever works for you. However, when working in an open office environment, there are a few important things you need to consider beyond the realm of productivity and creativity.
Does your company have a clean desk policy? Do you share your workspace?
It may be a general office management rule at your company that all employees need to make sure their workspaces are clean; clear of all paper, files, and writing tools are put away at the end of the day. It might be because you work in an open office design where desks are shared, it may be because it helps the cleaning staff do their job better when the desk is clear of clutter, it might be to protect confidential information, or it may be all of the above.
Here are a few tips to help you declutter your desk for success in 2016
Decide where to get started; make a list, and then prioritize it.
Lists are great, because they let you check them off with a feeling of accomplishment. Prioritizing them helps because if you can’t get to them all, at least you did the most important ones. Everything needs a place so that they can easily be accessed when needed. Here are some typical items that typically cause a great deal of clutter on people’s desks, and should be eliminated or reorganized. Do it before the end of the year, so you can start 2016 fresh and organized.
Eliminate paper piles
Is this paperwork still require you to take action before you can file it away for reference? Make a To-Do file, a Next File, or a Someday File. If it doesn’t require an action, and there is no need to keep as a reference, it is time to shred and recycle.
Keep file folders off the desk top
Keep folders with information that you require on a daily basis close at hand, but off the desk. If you have a drawer in your desk with a lock, this is an ideal place to keep those folders. If you have an open office with shared workspaces, make sure to file away paperwork before the end of the day. If you are always using certain files, consider scanning and storing this information electronically. With more companies choosing flexible work environments, employees are not always close to paper files that they need to access.
Mail – Incoming and Outgoing. End of day this should be empty.
Paper does not only cause clutter, but using less paper is more environmentally friendly. With so many online organizing programs available that are free or low cost, going digital will probably save you money; reduced office supplies expense on paper purchases and printing costs and less storage space is needed for archiving paper files. Moving from paper to online opens up opportunities to collaborate with more people no matter where they are working.