We all know how distracting excess clutter can be. Studies show that desk clutter can reduce your work productivity, as it takes your attention away from actually working.
According to the National Association of Professional Organizations, items like paper clutter are the number one problem for most businesses. The average person wastes 4.3 hours per week searching for paperwork, which increases stress levels and frustration. Help shrink the potential onset of burnout and start your work day by clearing out different areas of your desk until it’s all done! Here are four tips on how you can clean up your desk and get yourself back on track with your job responsibilities.
1. Organize or Reduce Unnecessary Paperwork
Since paper piles are considered the core problem for reduced productivity, that should be the first hurdle you tackle. Consider recycling to clear up space and take back your desk! Most organizations are ditching paper and switching to digital documents due to hybrid work environments. Going paperless for work helps reduce physical security concerns, so contemplate shredding private documents when they’re no longer needed.
If you have personal paperwork mixed in, make sure to pull those out and lock them away in a filing cabinet or keep digital copies on your personal computer. The added benefit of shredding a document, whether it be personal or professional, is that it protects any sensitive data and helps reduce the potential for fraud on your behalf.
2. Check your Medications and Prescriptions
You probably have prescriptions and common medications such as Tylenol lying around on your desk. When you’re decluttering, check the expiration date on all your medications. Before flushing or tossing your meds in the trash, examine alternative disposal options, such as local drug drop-off points. Our Baltimore neighbors have the ability to drop off unwanted medications in all ten police precincts in the county 24/7. If you aren’t local, the FDA has an extensive guide on how to properly dispose of any medications. If you’re ever unsure, always consult your health care provider or local pharmacist.
For those who wear eyeglasses and have old pairs lying around, you should toss them as well. But, before throwing them away, see if you can donate your old pairs to those in need. There are nearly 1.1 billion people in the world who need eyeglasses, and your donation can help change someone’s life. Depending on how old your eyeglasses are, you may want to take the time to get your eyes checked first so you can ensure you’re getting the most up-to-date prescription eyewear.
The ergonomics of your workspace extend to the accessories you wear. Making sure your eyeglasses are suitable for your vision’s needs will help you maintain productivity and workflow, so be sure to find a pair that’s right for you.
3. Throw Out any Old Food
Usually, people are prone to snacking at their desks. Wrappers can easily pile up, so make it a habit to throw away any old or empty wrapping. Food crumbs and wrappers can attract unwanted pests like cockroaches, which isn’t good for your overall health. To help you both feel good and reduce your carbon footprint, pack your snacks in reusable containers. Cut out prepackaged snacks and store your food with eco-friendly options such as silicone sandwich or snack bags. Packing your own snacks can also help you save money in the long run, as you pay more for less with prepacked foods.
4. Practice Proper Cable Management
Junk drawers are common for everyone to have, and chances are you probably have a ton of unused electronic cords in there that you no longer have a use for. Also, as time progresses, cords connecting all your electronics at your desk get tangled and become torn or frayed. Utilizing proper cable management can help you save money in the long run by ensuring your cables last longer and maintain proper performance. A great way to keep your cords organized, especially if you rotate usage throughout your work day, is by labeling them with a label maker ahead of time. That way you can eliminate the guesswork and keep focused on your daily workflow.
Once you clear out all the unneeded cords, pack them up and take them to your nearest e-waste recycling drop-off center so you can continue feeling good about saving the environment! For people who live in the Baltimore area, ECycle101 makes life easier by providing options to drop off your e-waste via a drive-thru. They accept most electronics free of charge and there is no need to make an appointment.
Untidy environments in or outside the workplace can ultimately increase stress and anxiety levels. Not only can it affect your work performance, but it can have negative impacts on your life as a whole. Tidying up your workspace is a great way to practice self-care as it can boost your confidence and pride. By following these tips, your new clean desk will help you focus better on any task at hand!