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Less mess, less stress: 10 desk organisation tips for CEOs

Have you ever used the words ‘organised chaos’ to describe your desk?

Though some feel like they thrive in disorder, Reliable Plant found an average person wastes 4.3 hours a week searching for paper, not only inhibiting work quality and efficiency, but increasing stress levels in the process. It might seem silly, but a desk might even affect your colleagues’ wellbeing too. According to Initial Hygiene UK 57% of employees feel more motivated and have greater morale when their workplace is clean.

If you’re here because your workspace clutter is getting out of hand, you’ve come to the right place. Here are our tips to clear the decks and boost your productivity, time management, and concentration.

The bonus is it will also reduce stress, too: for you, and your desk neighbours too.

If you don’t need it, bin it

Clear everything. That’s right – everything. Empty your desk, drawers, files and clear the work surfaces. When you revisit each item, ask yourself: “Do I really need this?” Be strict and get rid of anything you haven’t used in 6 months, the initial mess will be worth it.

Clean the space

Now that you’ve cleared the clutter, give your desk a deep clean. Your working environment should be calming, and help you stay focused. Keeping your space clean plays a big part in that.

Organise your desktop

Time to re-organise your desk. Give everything a place; we like to use labels for this. Anything important, or that you use daily, should be at arms reach from where you sit – so you don’t limit your productivity by looking for things.

Create a personal space

Some things, like your phone and wallet, need a place too. Excess objects and clutter become more distractions that steal your focus. Create a designated space, ideally out of sight, for those necessary objects that also tempt you away from your work.

Develop a filing system

A simple filing system is essential for any business owner. Nothing’s more frustrating than losing something you, or a member of your team, need. Start by creating folders for people, projects, meetings, and so on. That way, important documents are always at your fingertips.

Clean up your digital desktop

Files scattered across a computer desktop can be just as overwhelming as over your real-life one. Create folders, ideally ones that mirror your physical filing system, and nestle folders within folders to create a more streamlined digital desktop.

Sort your inbox

It’s time to add an inbox tray to your desk. The ‘two-tray’ system is most popular. It works by having a tray (new) for new documents; and a second tray (old) for documents that you’ve seen but still need to deal with. The second tray will become a ‘to-do’ list, without being scattered all over your desk.

For your email, find out how to organise your Gmail or Outlook inbox with our other guides.

Express yourself

Your desk is a reflection of you and your personality, and where you spend most of your time, so you should feel at home here. A select number of personal items work well, like a photo of a loved one, a plant, or the mug you received from Secret Santa.

Make it part of your routine

When home time rolls around, give your desk a quick clean and put everything away. This means when you arrive at work in the morning, you’re greeted with a clean desk, and a fresh focus.

If desk organising seems harder than usual, it’s often a sign that your business is growing and thriving. However, when times are busy, small tasks like these are pushed down the ‘to-do’ list.

Outsourcing tasks frees up time to focus on what’s important: staying organised and building your business.

At EMMA – we take the pressure off by doing the tasks you don’t have time to. With assistants specialising in administrative, organisation, diary management, event planning, and more, unlock your business’ potential by speaking to EMMA today.