Work and Wellbeing · 29 January 2020

Four reasons you should clean up your desk

Minimalism is trending now more than ever, but it appears that it may not have reached the office space quite yet. When we spend the majority of our day at work, our office desk can become subject to clutter and mess, and that could be hindering our productivity more than we’d think.

A new survey from RAJA revealed that 51% of Brits consider decluttering to be therapeutic and beneficial to their overall mental health. So, for better work-life, it may be time to spruce up your work desk. 

1. It’s a time saver 

Picture this: you’re about to run into a meeting and you need a piece of paper that has an important note on it, you can’t find it amongst the forest of papers, coffee cups and other little knick-knacks lying all over your desk.

If this scenario hits home a little too hard, invest some time into keeping your desk clean and tidy. This will allow you to have those important documents to hand, saving time and stress down the line so you can focus on getting important jobs done. 

When clearing up your desk, it’s best to be ruthless. Go through everything you have lying around on your desk; keep the stuff you need and throw away stuff you don’t. Bin old post-it notes, any food you know you won’t eat and clear away used plates. Create a filing system that works for you and try desk organisers – these can be really helpful to keep things in order moving forward. Simple acts like putting your pens in a designated pot and taking used mugs and plates straight to the kitchen can make a big difference to your working environment. 

2. Helps you stay in the zone

As the saying goes; a tidy desk is a tidy mind. With less clutter on your desk, you’re less likely to get distracted. Contrary to popular belief, multitasking is not as efficient as you’d think; jumping from project to project just means you’re not devoting your full attention to the task at hand. So, keep the relevant documents for the task you’re working on next to you, and make sure the others are stored away so you can keep focused on the job at hand. 

You might also want to create a personal corner on your desk for things that you need to keep with you, like your phone, purse and keys. Try and keep these items in a drawer to keep them safe (and it might also reduce the temptation of reaching for your phone!). Keeping them in a designated area will mean that there is less stuff strewn over your desk, fewer opportunities for your mind to wander and get distracted and makes them easier to find when you need them. 

3.Boosted Morale 

Feeling desk-proud is important to the overall feeling you have at work. You’re likely spending the majority of your day at work so it’s worth the effort to create an environment that improves your mood and helps – not hinders – your productivity.

The survey revealed that 27% of respondents found de-cluttering to be very rewarding, so doing so could make you feel happier at work. This happiness can have a positive effect on your efficiency and motivation which in turn might allow you to complete work to a better standard and faster, so you don’t have to worry about staying late or working through lunch to meet deadlines. 

4. Enjoy less sick days 

Cleaning your desk not only makes it appealing on the eyes but giving it a good scrub can also help cut down on sick days. Your keyboard and desk can become a breeding ground for germs that can result in regular absences if not taken care of properly. Taking the time to clean and disinfect your desk from time to time can make a big difference to your overall wellbeing.

It turns out that regularly maintaining and organising your work desk can make it a more welcoming and productive area to work in. This can positively impact your productivity and make the time you’re spending at your desk much more enjoyable.

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