How to keep your office desk clean and tidy

Whether you spend the whole day at your desk or just a few moments here and there, there’s no doubt that a messy workspace contributes to higher stress levels and lower productivity.

To illustrate this point, this research done by Reliable Plant shows that the average person wastes 4.3 hours per week searching for paper, which increases stress and reduces concentration and creative thinking.

That’s a lot of time wasted due to being lazy and not sparing some minutes to organize your desk.

Fortunately, we are going to share with you the best tips used by productive executives to keep their desks clean and tidy.


Don’t let clutter build

The other day my co-worker was wondering whether the mess on his desk had life on its own. It just amazed him how a small mess seems to breed and end up producing something much larger. One day you leave a pile of documents and the next thing you see are smaller piles growing on your desk.

To stop this process, the best advice we found for you is to clear off your desk at the end of each day. By doing so, and making sure you file your documents and clean the garbage before leaving, you are saving precious time the next morning when you return to the office.


Bring an inbox to life

We all have an inbox for our emails that we strive to keep clear. If you designate a physical inbox to place on your desk, you can keep incoming papers there with the aim of not making it their permanent home but to process them quickly and then archive them in a proper place or send them forward.


Keep incoming paper at a minimum

Stop right now and think of one report, memo, subscription or any document that regularly comes to you in hard copy and you could eliminate.

I’m sure you found at least one.

Now go ahead and stop it from reaching your desk. Perhaps you can completely cancel it or at least start receiving it in your email.

Read more about How to prevent office illnesses 


Have a trash can within reach

If you don’t have a trash can next to your chair, then you are more likely to keep garbage on your desk. You don’t always have the time to stand up and go to wherever the trash can be, and you don’t want to find more distractions on the way.

Make sure there is a trash can next to you. And once you have it, make a commitment to never put trash down. Whether it’s a small paper note or a food wrapper, start building the habit of holding it in your hand until you toss it into the trash can.