Organizing Your Office Desk
Do you have home office? Does your desk look like a nuclear bomb hit it, scattering paper everywhere? Is very surface covered with paper? Does the paper work spill out from your desk drawers and on to the floor? Can you even find your desk to use it?
If you answered yes or even maybe or a little bit to any of those questions you have to sit down (probably after you have dragged in a chair from another room, the office chair being covered with papers), and prepare a plan to organize your office desk.
Grab the papers littered on your desk and begin to sort them into piles. First organize them according to type. All the same type of paper should be placed in the same pile e.g. circulars, letters, replies (copies) and brochures. Next, sort within these items for date relevancy. Place the most current at the top of the pile and the oldest at the bottom. Discard, immediately, those who are in the wrong room and have nothing to do with your office work.
Once you have done this, begin to discard. Toss out those circulars and brochures that are not current or applicable. Throw away items long past their due or expiry date. Anything that has nothing to do with your actual work or future projects and plans should be junked.
Place these orderly piles aside, unless your filing cabinet and both in and out boxes are free, and move on to the desk drawers, applying the same method.
Once you are through sorting the paper work, you will have considerably reduced the amount of excess paper on your desk. It now is up to you to decide how to file them.
Current work, immediate projects should be near at hand. They are best left in a file on your desk in a to-do, current or in box. Other projects, correspondence, brochures and material should be placed in a filing cabinet. These do not have to be situated directly next to you. They can be across the room or down the hall. As long as all that excess paper is not on your desk.
There should now be no excess on your desk. The only project or work visible must be the only one you are currently working on. This will keep you and your mind focused and your desk tidy.
On your desk, order the other elements. Place within reach of each other things that belong together. All your computer parts and requirements should be located near each other. Telephone should be on the desk within easy reach. Pens, markers, pencils and other writing implements should be placed in a box inside your desk, the only ones on the desk's surface being the ones needed for the project or currently in use. Paper clips, rubber bands and other extra items do not need to be in your desk drawers. Keep them and extra printing paper, forms, business cards and related material in a closed cabinet or clear plastic box. Do not, however, forget to label them clearly.
If you absolutely must have a wide variety of paper-related paraphernalia keep I a t a minimum and always within the confines of the desk. The only exceptions are if you have a system of on desk containers, sitting unobtrusively on top of a computer, desk or side table.
Remember when organizing your desk it has a purpose - a working purpose. Every piece of paper you add to its surface detracts from its goal. Do not let it! Keep the paper clutter under control. Deal immediately with material in your in box, sending it off by, if not before the due date. If you can not help yourself, if you are a natural clutterer, force yourself to take baby steps. Sit down weekly or at a set time, and pare, pare, pare. This will help you maintain a tidier, if still slightly, disorganized desk.