Whether you have a work-from-home desk setup or are back in the office, an organized desk can make a big difference in your workflow, productivity, and concentration. Numerous studies have shown that every interruption and distraction requires an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back into the rhythm, mindset, and concentration on the task being worked on before the interruption.
Preventing interruptions from coworkers is a different topic, but you can quickly rectify distractions and disruptions due to a poor home desk setup or office desk disorganization. Just follow a few office desk or work-from-home tips, and you’ll be less stressed, distracted, and disorganized.
How to Organize Your Desk
- Get a clean start
Remove everything from your desk. It’s easier to work from a clean space than just rearranging what’s there. Rearranging your desk can also give you an excellent opportunity to wipe everything down.
- Positioning is important
If you can change your desk orientation, move it so that sunlight does not shine on your monitor if it currently does. A desk orientation that prevents or minimizes the ability for someone to come up behind you without notice will also eliminate a lot of unconscious stress.
- Start with your monitor
For comfort, your computer monitor should be right in front of you (so you don’t subtly twist your body) and set at eye level, so you don’t strain your neck by looking down. That may require propping on a book or stand. The monitor should be arm’s length away from you on the desk.
- Dominant side placement
If you have a desk phone, set it on the side of your desk that matches your dominant arm so you can grab it quickly without reaching across your body. Similarly, keep a notebook or pad of paper on your dominant side, ideally next to the phone, so it’s in easy reach for any notes you need to take.
- File effectively
Even if paper files are necessary for your job, you want to keep them the ones on your desk to a minimum to avoid clutter and the rest in a filing cabinet or file drawer if you can’t go entirely paperless. A small file folder holder that allows them to be stored vertically instead of flat tales up less desk space and is more efficient. Placing this file holder in the corner of your desk on your non-dominant side is usually the best placement.
- Minimize supplies
While having whatever supplies you need handy so you don’t have to get up to get paperclips, a pen, etc., you also want to strike a balance. An excessive amount on your desktop is just a different type of clutter. Keep extras inside your desk, not on the surface. Keep essential, frequently used supplies, like a pen cup or paperclip holder, on the dominant side of your desk for each reach.
- Maintain clear space
You want to always keep a section of your desk on your dominant side spacious and open for signing papers, to write when you pull the notebook closer, etc. Scrambling and moving things when you need to write wastes time and adds to unconscious stress.
- In and Out
If a physical inbox and outbox would benefit your workflow, add one, but it may be unnecessary if you don’t deal with much physical paperwork or mail. A stackable option to save space is best, or maybe your “inbox” can be one of the folders on your desk. The side of your desk that matches your non-dominant arm is usually the best location, next to the file holder if you use one.
- Minimal reminders
Don’t let your monitor or desk become a Post-It® note collector. While they seem helpful, after a while, your conscious mind tunes them out while they continue to nag at your unconscious mind.
- Priorities, priorities
Besides the essentials already mentioned, only keep on your desktop items related to your current work. A clear space will avoid distractions and improve workflow.
- Have a trash can
Being able to throw away what you don’t need quickly will save time and improve efficiency.
- Tidy every day
Whether at home or in an office, it’s tempting to walk away from your desk at the end of the workday. Instead, spend 5-10 minutes at the end of the day getting rid of what you don’t need, filing, etc., to keep your desk organized. The small amount of time spent every day to deal with what needs to be moved on, thrown away, etc., will save much more time in the long run and help lower stress.
Follow these steps for a more efficient, effective, organized workflow. These steps will also improve any office or work-from-home desk setup.
Box&Co Makes It Easy to Get Organized
When you’re ready to get organized, and store items only used occasionally and file you need to keep for legal reasons, Box&Co can make things incredibly easy for you. All you have to do is ask for storage containers, and we’ll deliver them. Then, you pack your items, and when you’re ready, we’ll pick your stuff up and store them. We’ll return your items when they’re needed, and you can keep track of your stored items online. To learn more, contact us today.