Remember that desk you were all too pleased to leave behind as you logged off before your holiday in the sun? Well, guess what! It’s still going to be in the same old cluttered mess when you get back – perhaps with a few additions of sticky notes and memos that colleagues have left behind in your absence.
Coming back from holiday is the perfect time to start your new clear desk policy and once you’ve done it you’ll never look back. You’ll be able to find things more easily, feel more organised, as well as avoid giving the impression that you’re constantly working amidst chaos – especially if you follow these desk organisation tips to get you ahead of the game.
Prioritise that paper
Organise your papers into relevant piles and go through the mass of sheets. Make sure you have plenty of files and ring binders handy for any documents you may need to tidy away and for any that you don’t need, just put them in the recycling or, in the case of sensitive documents, put them through the office shredder. Sorting your papers is imperative to getting on top of everything.
Keeping the essentials
Now to start rebuilding your desk to how you want it to look. Decide on priority items you want to have within easy reach, such as pens, paper and Post It notes. You should also think about getting a desk tidy which will help to keep everything together and in one place. Collating desk equipment and making a separate collection of your personal items will allow you to have control over your desk and help get cracking with your workload.
Although the paperless office has long been talked about it’s still not with us. Meaning? You’ll have to create a place to store inevitable paperwork that soon builds up. One of the most effective ways of doing this is by using stackable trays that also help you to organise papers into logical piles. If there’s a lot of paperwork that you need to keep nearby it may be worth ordering press stud folders, to keep all your accounts or client’s work separate.
This is when you can seriously start to plan what’s going to go where on your desk to make it as ergonomically efficient as possible. If you spend most of your way working on a computer then this should be the focal point of your desk. Or if you’re frequently on the phone, this should be easily at hand, with space for a notebook or pad for jotting down key information. Keeping a paper or card holder close by will allow you to have all your loose sheets in one place – a key trick to stay on top of everything.
Less can be more
If you really are aiming for a minimalist desk then this can’t all be a one-off exercise. You’ll have to be strict with yourself and ensure that you clear it of everything apart from all your essential equipment and office desk accessories at the end of the working day. It’ll be easy once you get in the habit of doing it.
Then, next time you head off on holiday, you can be sure that one thing that won’t be waiting for you on your return is a desk that’s hard to find under a mountain of junk.