Tidy up your Desk to Save Time

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Yesterday I cleaned up my office and brought home three pairs that were in my office drawer. They were hidden under my desk. It’s almost winter and the strappy, linen-lined heels are not going to withstand the constant drizzle. It made me think about tidying up so I’m bringing you today’s guest blog from Nicolas Soergel, CEO of T-Systems Japan, a Deutsche Telekom Group company. It’s all about cleaning.
Many of us spend a lot time at work or at our desks. It is disputed whether a clean desk increases productivity. It doesn’t matter what side you’re on, one thing is constant: a clean desk is a sign of an organized person.
These are the ten rules to help you set up and maintain a clean workspace.
1. You can have both an insidebox and an outbox
You can organize your document traffic simply by putting all new items into your inbox. You can keep them there until your ready for work.
2. Clean your desk everyday
Instead of making it a once-a-month or weekly task, make cleaning your desk a daily, endof-the-day chore. This will make it easier to maintain. This will make it easier to get to work each morning with a clean desk.
3. Don’t use sticky notes
Post-it notes are a great invention. If the item is not used often enough, it can become lost or forgotten. Instead, keep a notepad on your desk to write reminders and notes.
Then, you can go through your notes throughout your day and update your to-do list. Mark each task as you complete it. If you are unable to live without post-its, you can also use the electronic version from your computer.
4. Do not collect magazines or newspapers
Many piles I’ve seen in the offices of others are made from magazines and newspapers they plan to read later. The piles’ height often indicates the despair that comes from trying to read all that stuff. You can save the magazine or article you don’t like and copy it later.
5. Take your books home
Many people have many personal books that they keep in their offices. These books are often displayed in offices, but they are seldom used. Take a look at what books are on your desk. You have two options: move them to a bookcase or donate them to the library.
6. Each document should only be handled once
It is not uncommon for documents to accumulate on your desk. This happens because you start something, but don’t finish it. When you are working on a document, process it to done. This will allow you move the document to the outbox, filing area, or delegated area instead of putting it back into the ‘to do’ pile.
7. Reduce the number of pens
Have you ever compared how many pens you have on your desk to how many you actually use every single day? Keep your favorite pens and toss any others that you don’t use or don’t like.
The same goes for markers: generally, two or three colors are sufficient.
8. Staple documents, don’t clip
Stitched documents that are connected should not be cut, but stapled. You may need to spend more time sorting papers as paper clips can become loose. Keep a high-quality, electric stapler on your desktop.
9. Do not save files to anyone else
You should move any files and materials you don’t wish other people to see to another place.
10. This should be done for at least four weeks
Research shows that it takes about a month for something become a routine. These tips can be used daily for up to four weeks to keep your desk tidy. These tips can be used daily for four weeks to keep your desk clean. You might be surprised at how easy it is to get along with them.