I was doing a little research for a future post when I came across the Productivity501 Blog run by Mark Shead.  As a business management consultant, Mark uses technology to streamline businesses and shares effective ideas and practices through Productivity 501.

I’m a “place for everything and everything in it’s place” kind of gal, but the general maintenance of keeping a clean desk tends to elude me.  I do try to clear it at the end of the day and consider it my mental commute from office to home.  But keeping it clean throughout the day is hard for me.  My to-do lists tend to be to-do piles and where there is paper there is potential for mess.  Knowing a lot of people struggle with this issue I enjoyed reading the stories in Mark’s post about Messy Desks, you can read it here.

Keeping a “clean” desk comes down to hourly habits of re-shelving what we are no longer using and keeping paper to a minimum or at least organized in folders.  I recently downsized from a 6 filing cabinet drawers to 2.  I was amazed at how much clutter I was holding AND how often I would stack it on my desk to organize it.  Not only was it adding to my messy desk it was taking a way from my productivity.

We sometimes think about productivity in large quantities of time, but 5 minutes here and there really adds up. A messy desk can eat your car keys, glasses and that file you’re looking for, and cause you to lose productive time that will add up over the week.  Your desk should be organized in such a way that helps you be as productive as possible.  For me, that means some days lean a little more towards organized chaos but my habits are improving.

Please post your favorite clean-desk habit in the comments below and be sure to check out the Productivity501 Blog, it is chalk full of great productivity stories and tips!

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3 Responses to Tips On Clearing Messy Desks and Stopping Productivity Leaks

  1. Thanks for your kind words about my website.

    My favorite tip for keeping a clean desk is to get a timer. Once or twice each day, set it for 5 or 10 minutes and then dedicate that time to cleaning off your desk. The timer helps keep you focused on the single task at hand and helps make sure the job doesn’t spiral out of control to include reorganizing your furniture, re-arranging your files, or repainting the walls.

  2. Tom burns says:

    Thank you for posting this….I struggle daily with piles of paper and lost productivity. You are an inspiration to me.

  3. Tami says:

    Love this idea Mark!

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