How do you feel when you are about to do some work and you sit down to a completely untidy desk?
Most of us can’t work like this and will have an uncontrollable negative feeling each time. If you have to create space before you work on a task then this is not a great start.
To remedy this you have to form good habits of clearing up after each activity.
Here are some tips that could work for you.
1. Create a mono-pile. Pick up every item of the desk and place them one by one in a pile on the floor. By removing every item of the desk will automatically make you feel that you are making progress. Don’t be tempted to action or worry about any of the items on the desk. Just place them in the ‘mono-pile’.
2. Clean the surface.Buy some detergent and a cloth and give the top surface a very good clean. Remove any ink and eraser stains and make it sparkle. Allow the surface to dry.
3. Sort out the mono-pile. Place the pile back onto the surface and start sorting each piece one by one. Ask the following questions for each piece:
- Can I throw it away? You will be surprised how much you can remove completely from you life. Duplicate copies of things, things you will never need, can all be chucked. Have a bin liner close by to throw things away.
- Can I delegate it? Does this piece of paper need to be dealt with by me? If not then place it in a folder labeled ‘delegate’.
- Can this be done now? I good mantra for any day is Do it now! If something can be done in two or three minutes then do it straight away.
- Can I electronically capture it? If you have a smart phone or tablet with you (and a strongly recommend one) then you can take pictures of important information that might be in your mono-pile. Passwords, important addresses etc. can be quickly snapped.
- Have a to do list and add any items to this list that need to be done soon. Place these in a folder labeled ‘to do’.
4. Buy some straightforward manila folders and label them with labels that come to mind when you are sorting. It doesn’t matter how many labeled folders you have. Just the process of thinking will really help you. These labels can change as time goes on and you will be able to hone your system into one that really works for you.
5. Plan it into your diary when you will next clean your desk. This might sound crazy but it is a very important step. Hopefully next time when you clean your desk not as much effort will be required.
If you have any tips on de-cluttering and cleaning then please e-mail them to me on firstname.lastname@example.org in my five things format.
Thank you for reading.