Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question,“what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.
Whether you work from home or in an office, taking a few moments to straighten up your workspace can make you feel more productive.
You already knew this, but sorting all of your paperwork out properly is vital. It might seem like a huge, unmanageable task initially, but once you get started things really won’t seem so bad. Get it organized once and for all and then just keep on top of it as you go. Organize your files by year and date or alphabetically – whatever works for you, just make sure to keep the same system. A good filing system means you won’t have to dig through mountains of papers to find what you need.
Sort your stationery
You probably have a whole pile of post-it notes, notepads, pens and pencils on your desk. Probably only a small portion of those still work. Go through and test each pen, throwing away the duds as you go. If by some kind of miracle they all work, then you need to cut down to your favorite pens, the ones you reach for over and over. Dutifully place the surplus pens back in the stationery cupboard for someone else or donate them to a local school.
Organize useless possessions
Some people’s desks are awash with photo frames, ID cards, food wrappers, perhaps a cactus or two and almost definitely a few greeting cards. First of all: stop setting your ID card or office keys on your desk. Leaving it there is the reason you keep locking yourself out of the office. Find a way to keep this attached to you at all times – Lanyards USA Home Page has a plethora of options. As for the greeting cards, file the ones that you want to keep and recycle the others. Similarly, there should be no food or trash on your desk, ever. That’s why you have a waste basket!
Do a spot of spring cleaning
It’s so easy to pass on coughs and colds at work that it’s essential to keep your personal space as clean and as possible. Even if it doesn’t look it, your desk is probably in need of a clean. Desks – and everything piled up on them – are breeding grounds for germs and dust. If you eat at your desk the chances are a fair few food crumbs are scattered around the place too. Using your favorite wipes (I’m partial to the Clorox ones) wipe down your desk once a week. Use screen safe wipes and wipe your computer screen and laptop at the same time.