Over and over, I read and hear that the surest way to productivity is to clear off my desk. My desk always has something on it. Right now I have a cup of pens, my notebook, my folder with rough drafts, my timer, my stacking baskets (which contain the contents of my purse) and my water bottle. Stacked in the corner is a scrapbook I am working on. Would putting all this stuff off my desk help my productivity and organization?
I was reading an article by Mark Forster, when I realized that what is right for some people is not right for everyone. “Over-organisation can be almost as big a problem as under-organisation. The reason for this is that once you have got organised enough to carry out your function satisfactorily any further organisation is going to take up time and effort unproductively.” Keeping a spotless desk is over-organization for me. I can find what I need to effortlessly as it is, and if it deteriorates, I clean up.
Critical to my functioning is to remove clutter. Both my work and home desks seem to attract clutter from all quarters. At home I have a basket that I have trained the other members of the house to put stuff in, but other items appear on the desk with no one admitting to placing them there. Perhaps the cats are the culprits. However the clutter got there, I need to have it gone as soon as possible.
Clutter is anything that does not add value to my desk. At the moment, the clutter is in my inbox, and I need to get rid of it: a flashlight that needs its batteries recharged; a used sticker that needs to go in the garbage; a calendar for scrapbooking that has only 10 months in it; and a fuzzy mouse. (Perhaps the cats are at work.) The scrapbooking pile, if I do not work with it today, needs to be put away.
Sometimes things add value, but they aren’t used very often. For this end, I got creative with storage. My desk has no drawers in it, but I use a rolling cabinet as a printer stand. This is where I store stapler and tape, and the file drawer at the bottom holds files I am working on now. I have a shelf to the right of my desk and above head level to hold my plant, and some photos. I can look at them easily, but they don’t distract my visual field as I am trying to work. All supplies are in boxes in the closet, well labeled.
There are many websites out there with organization hints for your desk. Take what you like and leave the rest, including what I have written here!