Desk for Success – Tips for a tidy desk

26/02/2016

desk for success

Often it is said to dress for success, but as an office manager, office assistant, PA, secretary, administrator or any office worker, whether your desk is at your office or at home, having your desk ready for success is essential.

Those of us who are desk-bound workers spend a huge amount of time at our station, and it doesn’t matter if you are sat at a huge wide desk, an old bureau, or just a small computer table, whatever consists of your desk area, it is essential to make it the best environment for both work efficiency and health.  As the info-graphic here states, on average we spend 1920 hours per year at our desks.  If you are spending all of that time cramped into a cluttered, messy hell, how can you ever expect to be productive let alone efficient?

So here are a few tips to help improve your environment:

  • Remove the clutter – Don’t just hide it under the carpet, or behind something else or even in a drawer. File it away, organise it for ease of finding another time, but be sure to create space on your desk.  A tidy desk is a tidy mind.
  • Have a plant on your desk – Not only do plants filter the air and remove bacteria making for a healthier environment, but they bring a bit of the outdoors inside.  There is a plant for everyone, even if you don’t have a green thumb.  A cactus is especially good for those who have watched their plants whither away.
  • Get rid of the clock – Unfortunately this is harder than it should be seeing all of us who use PCs have a little reminder of the time in the bottom right-hand corner of our screen, unless of course you hide the taskbar, but having a physical clock or watch in front of you means that you sit there counting down the seconds, and time will seem to take longer. By hiding the clock, you can then focus more on the tasks at hand, and use your email system to alert you to specific timed tasks instead.
  • Stay hydrated and alert – Some will take this as an excuse to drink more coffee, but this couldn’t be further from helpful. The modern day addiction to coffee is one of the most distracting and unhelpful standards in the office environment.  All that coffee does is bring you back to a normal level alertness after the downer from your previous cup of coffee.  By eradicating caffeine from your diet, and drinking water instead, you stay hydrated and naturally alert without the need for a pick-me-up every hour or two.
  • Photographic stimulation – Yes we want to remove the clutter, but having photos of friends and family, or drawings made by children, nieces or nephews help to alleviate stress, and focus on the best things in our lives.
  • Eat properly – By constantly ingesting sugary foods during the working day you are having the same effect as drinking coffee, bringing yourself back up to the normal level of alertness after the downer from the previous sugar rush.  Consuming high protein snacks will keep alertness high naturally, and eating healthier foods will cleanse your system so you feel less bloated throughout the day.
  • Move around – Be sure that you don’t remain completely stagnant at your desk all-day.  By getting up and going out for lunch, or just to access the photocopier, or facilities, will allow your mind to concentrate better and increase productivity.
  • Be sure you’re sitting correctly – The correct posture at your desk, means not only better comfort, but less stress on your joints.  If necessary invest in lumbar support for your back, and a foot-rest if your feet don’t naturally reach the floor, when your eyesight is level with the top of your monitor.

These simple tips will allow for a better experience in your office, and during your work day, and should keep you alert and refreshed for anything that comes your way.