5 Tips to Organize Your Desk Before the New Year

2013 is days away and many of us are busier than ever. If you are like most business executives, your desk is one reflection of how busy you are. A desk with lots of projects is one thing – but a desk that is messy or untidy is another. Fortunately we have 5 tips to help organize your desk before the New Year. Start 2013 better organized and ready to start the 1st quarter of the year

And you wanted to be our Vice President? Not with that messy desk, Mr. Gore.
And you wanted to be our Vice President? Not with that messy desk, Mr. Gore.

Begin at the messiest part first. Your desk is going to be cleaner if you start with the messiest drawer or part of your desk. Take a deep breath and open that drawer and get to organizing. Have the time to sort through it all. You’ll probably have three different types of things in that drawer or area: things to discard/recycle, things to file/save and things that must be done now. Be sure you have a trash bag, file folders and any other organizing tools you think would help you with this project.

Old school mess. Look at this monitor.
Old school mess. Look at this monitor.

Don’t expect to get your desk cleaned in a single day. This is one of the biggest mistakes many professionals make. If you really want to organize and clean your desk, you need to go through each item and that takes time. You don’t want to rush this process and wind up discarding things you actually need to file or act on. And cleaning your desk may make you realize that you want to organize it in an entirely different way than you originally intended. Spend as much time clearing out the clutter and organizing your materials as you need to so you’ve got the desk that works for you.

Feeling overwhelmed by your messy and disorganized desk? Set the alarm clock feature on your cell phone and work for 15 or 30 minutes and then stop. Work in short, intense periods and get as much done as you can. You may be surprised to discover just how much you can get done when your energy is focused. Sometimes when we have a project like cleaning our desk, we put it off and then it seems all too much. Well any project that can be tackled 15 minutes at a time doesn’t seem too intimidating, does it?

The mess travels up, it can't be stopped.
The mess travels up, it can’t be stopped.

Try cleaning your desk before or after work hours. This is far easier than doing so when the phone will ring and faxes and emails will come that demand your attention. Get to work a bit earlier or stay later and clean your desk. Our best tip: try partnering up with a work buddy to clean your desks together. Doing this project as a team will encourage and motivate you to complete desk organizing and cleaning. It also may give you ideas on how to organize your desk, as you see what your work buddy does to their work space.

Got a clean desk? Don’t think cleaning your desk is “over.” One challenge many professionals face is that they clean their desk and then decide that this is done – so they don’t ever have to do it again. But the savvy professional knows to keep a clean and organized desk you need to maintain it regularly. Keep 10 or 15 minutes every week to polish your workspace and keep it looking its very best.

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