A cluttered desk is never a good idea! Not only does it look messy, but it is also often reflective of possible internal turmoil. Think about it- when you are in a good mood and happy mental state, you take care of things and keep your surroundings neat. Maintaining a neat and clean physical workspace is essential to helping us focus and work productively. Our environment influences our behaviour, mood, and state of mind. So read on for some helpful tips for keeping your workspace tidy and staying productive.
Start small, and then go big
It is easy to get caught up in the mess of things and find yourself facing a pile of unfiled papers and office supplies all over the place. At these times, it is important to take a deep breath and start small. Take things one step at a time and try not to feel overwhelmed. Focus on cleaning and organising the big items- like your monitor or laptop, the monitor raiser, and any shelving units you may have. Once the bigger items look neat, there is already a big difference in the overall feel of the space.
You can use a desk cleaner to keep your desk free of grime and dirty spots. Microfibre cloths are also a good idea to have at hand for a cleaning emergency. They are super useful to wipe up spills or for daily dusting needs. These cloths are also an effective way to remove smudges from your laptop or phone screens.
Cleaning the keyboard would be the next step. You can use an air spray to get out the gunk from between the keys. Make sure you wipe your laptop or desktop clean with screen wipes. In case you’re wondering how to clean the mouse mat, there is a simple way to do so. Fill a sink or large bowl with warm water and mix in some hand soap. Dip the mouse pad into it, rinse gently, wash with clean water, and then hang it up to air dry. Don’t forget to clean the bottom of the mouse as well, as that is a spot people often miss!
Does it spark joy?
A huge part of cleaning and organising a space is also getting rid of what is no longer needed. This may seem like a big task, but breaking it down into smaller chunks helps make the process easier. Start with throwing away all the rubbish or outdated items on or near your desk. This includes empty bottles, food wrappers, or even discarded sticky notes.
Remember that clutter does not always consist of just physical items. In this day and age, there is also digital clutter. This may be in the form of extra tabs open on your browser than you need (we know we are guilty of that) or not getting rid of the tasks that literally take five minutes to complete. So, close those extra tabs and write that e-mail you have been procrastinating about that will take two minutes to draft and send!
Quite simply, do not hold on to items that do not spark joy. (No, this does not mean that you can get rid of the files for your next presentation.) This is a good way to purge your workspace of things that are no longer of any utility. The fewer extraneous things you have, the easier it is to keep the space organised and tidy.
Build micro habits
In the end, it is important to not just maintain cleanliness for a day, but set up systems in place to ensure that you stick to a routine and ingrain them in your day. For instance, make it a habit to put everything on your desk away at the end of the day if you work from home or when you leave the office. This way, you start the day with a clean space that helps you focus better.
Another tip is to invest in a label maker and label things that you don’t use frequently, so that finding them becomes easier. This may include old paperwork, rarely used office supplies, and other such items.
Clutter and messes make you distracted, and often end up causing stress, anxiety, and guilt. It also increases the chances for procrastination. Use some of these tips to upgrade your desk and surroundings today. Declutter your workspace and increase your productivity effectively!