I have a confession to make: my desk is usually a mess. Papers, CDs, and the remains of my lunch are strewn over its surface, and it’s getting distracting and even a little embarrassing. What would my boss think if he happened to pass by and saw the ketchup –stained printouts? That’s why I asked the neat freaks in my office for their secrets to a more organized desk.
Streamline the supplies
First step is to stop hoarding pens and pencils. Keep extras in a drawer, but the cup on the table should only have three or four. You’ll also notice immediately if you’ve left your pen somewhere—guilty!–and backtrack to get it.
Store odds and ends in a box
My desk often becomes a dumping ground for keys, earphones, cell phone charger, makeup. It’s safer and neater to keep those in a drawer, but if your table doesn’t have one, consider a pretty box or a caddy. (Oh, so that’s what those are for!)
Prioritize what you use the most
I used to keep my Rolodex and calendar near the monitor, but I realized I rarely reached for those (most of the info is in the computer anyway). So I chucked the calendar, moved the Rolodex to the farthest end of the table, and then freed valuable desk real estate for a small notepad for jotting down reminders and a file folder for frequently viewed documents.
Digitize what you can
Instead of keeping thick wads of documents, scan some of them so you just have electronic copies. And toss something you haven’t looked at in over a year. If you didn’t need them in the last months, chances are you’ll never need them at all.
Photo from blog.anymeeting.com