Papers, some pens, post-it notes, your coffee mug, the calculator, the cell phone, a lot of pencils you don’t even use… are you one of those people who accumulate countless things on their desks? Be careful! That habit may be a problem for your productivity and these are the 8 most common (and cheap) excuses:
1. Untidiness doesn’t stop me from working
A desk full of things may not stop you from doing your work, but the truth is that it reduces your productivity. Everything you accumulate on the table is something about which you will have to make a decision later and, therefore, will occupy your time. Tidy your space to work efficiently.
2. I don’t put it away because I may need it later
If you finish a task and do not put away the things you needed to do it (folders, annotations, etc.), you are contributing to the untidiness of your work table. Avoiding it is simple: put away what you used every time you complete a task. Do not let the junk pile up before you.
3. I don’t have the space to store things
If you do not know where to store everything you have on the table and which you do not use daily, find a solution. Make sure your work space has drawers, cabinets or places to collect and file the material you need, and remember: your desk is not that place.
4. My desk is too small
We all need some space to work comfortably and productively. If you feel that your desk is too small and you haven’t got enough space, ask yourself is that is really the problem before moving to a bigger desk. Many people buy a bigger desk, but that is only an excuse to fill it with even more stuff.
5. I use everything I have
Keep only one thing of each kind, surely you don’t need to have one marker for every color there is, or two identical notebooks, or four different post-it notes blocs. In other words, get rid of duplicated objects so that your desk does not become a problem for your productivity.
6. I know where everything is
It is a great mistake to think that we are in control of our own disorder. You may be able to find that paper you are looking for in the pile of documents on your desk, but you would be much more efficient if you had all that documentation filed and stored, and not making your working space untidy.
7. These are my things
Some toy, a souvenir, photographs, etc. There are offices out there with desks which look like bazaars. However, all these objects that you think are “customizing” your desk actually contribute nothing to your work and only succeed in distracting you. For the sake of effectiveness, keep on your table only that which is strictly necessary and put away your personal belongings elsewhere.
8. I dare not throw it away
Sometimes you keep things that you should throw away. Business cards you are never going to use, brochures, expired budgets, irrelevant documentation… Most of the things that you keep, you won’t need them in the future: throw them away (recycle!). The more space you free, the more productive you will be.