May be you don’t clear your desk because you are very busy. On the other hand you feel that your productivity is reduced due to the mess on your table. Here are a few tips on how to make it:
1) Plan the cleaning day in your calendar:
Chose a day where your schedule probably is not so busy and reserve the day for clearing up your desk. Treat it like having a workshop and only cancel or shorten it for really urgent matters. As I always emphasize it is important to motivate yourself. So think on how nice your desk might look like afterwards or what kind of reward you will allow yourself after accomplishment. Plan a second but shorter time slot two weeks later again. Here you will clean again when the first mess starts again and also look at the “review later again” box.
Before you start clearing your desk you better prepare a few things, so that you can efficiently proceed in one step:
- In- and outbox for incoming and outgoing documents
- Have shredder nearby
- Prepare a box for review later again
- Have staff to wash your desk.
- Accessory for filing (Folders, files, etc.)
- A box for non paper trash
- Post-its and sufficient clear files
- Make yourself familiar with document retention rules
- Photo camera
3) How to:
- What needs to be done goes directly into the inbox, which you will process later.
- Material that might be interesting for someone else is put into a clear file with a handwritten message on a post it and goes in to the outbox.
- When reviewing documents you should look forward such as will I need this in future. Don’t distract yourself with things from the past and memories.
- Be very selective in what you keep. In case you are not sure you put it into a box labelled “review later again”. You will review it during the next time slot two weeks later. You will probably find a solution for most items then.
- Once you started you keep going until you cleared the entire desk.
- Then wash the desk properly so that it looks and feels good.
- Make a photo of it, print it and hang it at a prominent place on your desk so that it will always remind you of how it should remain.