Does your workspace look like a tornado hit it? Reports are on one corner of your desk; current work is spread across the keyboard; you know you have an appointment coming up, but you can't find your calendar under the mess. It seems that you may need to learn how to organize your workspace! Keeping your workspace in order can do more for you than just make your desktop look better. Being organized can help you be more productive and reduce the amount of stress you feel when you get to work, during the day, and when you leave for home.
Organizing your desk may take more time than you have available during your workday. Ask your boss if you can come in on your own time to clean and organize your desk. They'll appreciate your desire; after all, organizing your workspace benefits them as well as you. Follow these seven basics of organizing your workspace.
1Start By Taking Everything Out
Remove everything from the top of your desk and out of the drawers. Of course, you can leave large items such as your computer or printer where they are. Everything else should be put into boxes.
2Wipe Your Desk And Drawers
Wipe down the entire surface of your desk. Also, clean up the insides of each drawer. Doing so will keep your files from getting dusty.
3Sort Out Your Stuff
Sort through the items that you removed from your desk and drawers. Group items together according to function. You can organize them as office supplies, filing materials, items to be filed, reference materials, and desk accessories.
4Get Rid Of Paperwork You Don't Need
Do you have unnecessary duplicates of reports or files? Recycle them. Are there items that you still need? Keep those items and set them aside for later.
5Plan Where To Put Your Things
You'll want items that you frequently use to remain within reach. So those items will take precedence on your desk. Put the things that you don't often use at the back or in the drawers.
6Make Use Of Paper Trays
Paper trays are often used for organizing desks. Vertical files are another option if you have quite a bit of paperwork. Establish a tickler file for various activities that you perform regularly. Use labels: "To Read," "To File," "To Pay," "To Do," and others.
7Put Items Back Into Place
Put things back into place after you've gone through them and purged what isn't needed. Only the items that you need at your desk should be put back. The old saying goes, "A place for everything and everything in its place." Decide where each item goes and then leave it there unless you're actively using it. If you're in the middle of a big project and if it's taking up much-needed space, don't be afraid to remove an item and then put it right back when you're finished with the project.
Remember that your goal is to have an organized desk. This doesn't mean that it has to be totally cleared off, but you do want to have space so you can function. If you've noticed something that will help you become more organized, don't be afraid to ask your boss to pay for it. In the long run, your increased productivity will more than pay for the item.
After you have your desk organized, do what you can to keep it clean. Decide what you're going to do with each item as it's placed on your desk. Use the tickler file if you have paper, or you can write important dates on your calendar instead of setting things aside to deal with later.
It can be so easy to keep your desk clear once you've learned how to organize your workspace and put things back in their space when you're done with them. Take the last five minutes of your day to straighten your desk. It will, hopefully, stay that way from here on out.