messy desk Chances are, if you’re reading this, you do most of your work at your desk. As convenient and comfortable it can be working at your desk, you should make the most of your time spent as a couch potato in sitting form. Being distracted at your desk can be very easy, and having too much “stuff” laying around can not only provide a distraction, but can mentally overwhelm you also. Here are some things you may want to identify and clean off your desk, to help reduce clutter:

  • Recycle old, unneeded notes / papers from past projects — remember to shred any private information!
    Note: Papers you still absolutely need should be organized into a bin, or file folders
  • Books that you haven’t picked up in the past 2 weeks — organize these on a bookshelf, or stow them somewhere out of sight
  • Cables — remember when you plugged your camera into your laptop, to download those pictures from two Christmases ago? Yeah, you can probably put that USB cable away.
    Tip: Keep somerubber bandshandy to tie up cables and avoid the “cable-monster-in-the-drawer
  • Food — If I have to explain to you what that weird smell coming from your desk is, it’s time to toss it!

In addition to de-cluttering things, you might as well finish the job and grab some cleaner and a paper towel, and wipe up that old coffee stain, all the dust that’s accumulated behind your monitor, and that sticky patch that keeps getting you! Lift up everything from your desk, or at least divide your desk into two sections. Get everything up and off the first section, give it a good cleaning, then swap sides and finish it off!

Remember, a clean desk leads to a happy, productive user! Take a few minutes, get your mind off your work, clean up your desk, and come back with a fresh mind (and smell)! Those few minutes you take to do some basic house cleaning could easily give you just enough time to solve that problem that’s been nagging at you for the past few hours!

Bonus: Set up a reminder for yourself in your Microsoft Outlook calendar, every Friday mid-morning — give yourself a chance to have your coffee — and perform the same routine. I guarantee that you’ll visit your office much more fresh, and ready to get some real work done.

Photo credit: cen2 http://www.flickr.com/photos/cen2/