September 26, 2009
Many of us spend long hours at our desk. To assist make the most of every day we need to focus on creating an environment condusive to work. By establishing a good desk environment you are guaranteed to improve your efficiency and achieve more in your day.
The paperless desk. Remove all paperwork from your desk: establish files for your projects; reference folders for information you need to access regularly; a reading file for articles, reports, journals and FYI documents; and a daily-file for administrative, miscellaneous and day-specific tasks, and keep these on shelves or in drawers.
The only thing on your desk at any point in time should be information relating to the task or project you are currently working on. Before you move on to the next task or project, file your paperwork and ensure you only have items relating to the new task on your desk.
Out of sight, out of mind. Remove your in-tray from your desk or get rid of it all together if you can! Keep it out of sight so the contents don't distract you and so that people don't drop new items into it without you noticing.
Having an overflowing in-tray in front of you can make you feel guilty and tempt you to get distracted from the task at hand. Educate your colleagues to leave documents for you on your desk, where you will see and either action or file them as they arrive, rather than having them get lost in your in-tray.
Avoid double-handling. Many people believe you should only handle paper once. This may not always be practical however if you get into the habit of making 'action notes' on each piece of paper your time will be well spent. Either write directly onto the paper or use a post it note to remind yourself of what action needs to be taken on that paper. This way you will avoid handling the paper multiple times.
Stationery drawer. Keep stationary in cupboards or drawers rather than on your desk. Get rid of all the clutter and keep your desk clear for essential items relating to the current piece of work you are doing.
Set up a comfort zone. Take the time to set up your PC, monitor, phone, chair and other vital tools properly. Make sure they are within easy reach and positioned for comfortable use.
Inspire yourself. Surround yourself with positive images. Keep a photo or phrase that motivates you in view to remind you of, and motivate you toward continually striving for your goals: it could be a holiday destination you want to visit, a photo of your family or a quote that inspires you.
Shut down. Take ten minutes to clear your desk at the end of every day: wash your coffee cup, empty your water bottle, put away pens and note pads, file documents and lock away confidential information. Leave each day with a clear desk and start each new day afresh.
Neen is a Global Productivity Expert: by looking at how they spend their time and energy – and where they focus their attention – Neen helps people to rocket-charge their productivity and performance. A dynamic speaker, author and corporate trainer, Neen demonstrates how boosting your productivity can help you achieve amazing things. With her unique voice, sense of fun and uncommon common-sense, Neen delivers a powerful lesson in productivity. Find out more at http://www.neenjames.com/