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A cluttered desk with a laptop and post it notes.

From Chaos to Calm: Conquer Clutter and Improve Your Productivity

Desk clutter is unavoidable from time to time. But did you know that continual clutter can actually affect your mental health and productivity?

According to a study performed by Brother found that 31% of those surveyed said a messy desk increased their stress and almost 50% of respondents stated that clutter affected how they felt about going to work each day. 

49% of those surveyed said desk clutter affected how they felt about going to work each day. 

Source: Brother

Benefits of an Organized Desk

Benefits of an Organized Desk and Desktop

  1. Boost Brainpower
    By decluttering both physical and digital files your able to better focus and improve your cognitive abilities. 

  2. Improve Productivity
    A messy desk or desktop is a maze, one that stands between you and finishing up tasks and projects. Cleaning things up helps you become more productive and shorten the time it takes to find what you need. 

  3. Reduce Stress
    As stated above, clutter causes stress (whether you realize it or not). Get rid of the mess and you'll reduce your stress. 

  4. Enable Creativity
    Clutter can dampen creativity, but a clean desk and desktop is like a blank canvas. It reduces distractions and allows you to focus on creative solutions and projects.

  5. Speed Up Your Computer
    Cleaning out those old files you don't need anymore and the downloads you viewed once and never looked at again helps free up valuable computer space and, in turn, helps your computer run more efficiently. 

Tips to Organizing Your Desk

Tips to Organizing Your Desk

  1. Declutter Ruthlessly
    Sort through everything on your desk and ask yourself, "Do I really need this?" If not, toss it. Be honest with yourself and be careful not to give yourself excuses to keep junk. 

  2. Create Zones
    Divide your desk into areas for specific tasks. Perhaps you'll have a writing/computer area and a brainstorming zone. This helps you stay focused and helps you remove items that aren't helping you with one of those specific tasks

  3. Embrace Storage Solutions
    Utilizing drawer organizers, filing trays and wall shelves help fight desk clutter. (Start Getting Organized) Creating a place for everything also makes it easy to find when you actually need it. Consider changing up your office design

  4. Tame Those Cables
    Everything needs a plug these days. But those cords can cause annoyance. Use cable organizers and clips to keep them in a nice, neat collection. 

Tips to Organize Your Computer

Tips to Organize Your Computer

  1. Start with Decluttering
    Just like with the physical organization of your desk, clean up and remove files you don't need on your computer. If you have a large amount of files and will need access to them at some point OR are required to keep records for industry compliance, store your files in the cloud to free up space on your physical laptop. 

  2. Embrace Folders
    Create a structure for your folders. Organize your files into folders based on project, topic, or date. Be descriptive in the naming of your files to help you search and find your folders faster - ie - 2024 Business Evaluation Project.

    And don't be afraid to put folders within folders. This can help organize different aspects of a large project or separate documents within the same topic but occurring in different months or years. 

  3. Clarify File Names
    We've all saved a document under a vague name and then spent way to long trying to find it again. Start going through your files and rename them to be concise, clear, and consistent.

  4. Unsubscribe
    If you're drowning in your inbox on a regular basis, then it may be time to unsubscribe from regular emails you don't find value in. 

  5. Backup Regularly
    We touched on this one a bit in number #1 this list. But utilizing a cloud storage system is not only a great way to free up computer space, but it's also a necessity to protect yourself and your business from the dreaded data loss that can occur from cyber attacks or natural disasters.

    Make sure you back up on a regular schedule and have multiple copies of your files backed up in different places. 

Finding Motivation

Finding Motivation

All these benefits are great. And you probably know cleaning up your office will be beneficial. But knowing it should be done and finding the time and desire to do it are two very different things. 

With any large project, breaking it into smaller tasks can help get the job done with less mental push back. And creating designated "spring cleaning" days in the office allots employees the time to clean up and improve their productivity. 

Two employees looking at a tablet.


Topics: Office, Office Setup, WFH, Productivity, Office Design, cloud storage, cloud computing, laptop, how to, organize, thought leadership

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