Yes, I’m talking about an organized desk. Have you ever thought about how your desk and immediate work environment can change your productivity levels for the better?

As simple as it sounds, keeping a clean and organized desk can help you adopt a more organized and consistent approach to your work. You may even find that you are happier and less stressed. That’s worth a few minutes of attention, isn’t it?

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Let’s face it. Clutter is distracting and can derail your attention. Not to mention, you are making yourself work harder when you have to overcome a visual obstacle (i.e., your messy desk) in order to get down to business. And how much time do you waste every day trying to find something in the disorganization?

See where I’m going with this? Good. Let’s take some time and get our desks in order. Here are some tips for getting started.

Start Fresh

If you have been neglecting your desk and office for a while, set aside a chunk of time across several weeks, if necessary, to get it to the level of clean and clear you need. Creating systems now will save you time and stress later on, promise.

Get a Handle on Paper

Once your desk is clean, it’s important to create a plan for maintaining it. Paper, including mail, is one of the biggest culprits of a messy desk. Take time every day to file, throw away or take action on every piece of paper on your desk.

Separate Work and Personal

This is perhaps the most important tip if you work from home. Don’t let your workspace become overrun by non-work clutter. Assign another place for items that you don’t need to do your work (i.e. household bills, your children’s school paperwork, personal letters and cards).

Create Your Own “Organized”

Are you already super-organized? Don’t let your quest for organization take over your life. If you find that you are spending too much time trying to stay neat, it’s time to step back and reevaluate your plan. And keep in mind that a clean and uncluttered environment means something different for everyone. Find the level of organization that works for you and stick with it.

Oh and don’t forget about your computer desktop either! If your home screen looks like it’s wallpapered with icons, files and other miscellaneous stuff that you can never find when you need it, it’s probably time to let your organizational skills trickle over to your computer. It won’t take long to move your files to new folders that will be easier to sort and maintain, and help you avoid the mess every time you log in.

I admit that I am anti-clutter, so it doesn’t take me very long to reach the tipping point of a messy desk and take action to clean it. I always accomplish more and feel better about what I’m doing when my desk is clean and my office organized. You might, too!

Is clutter getting in your way today? What will you do about it?