Before I offer any pro tips on decluttering you should know that I both live and thrive with ‘The Pile System’. What is that you ask? You are so inquisitive, I just love that about you! The Pile System is for lots of piles! Already did that piles, I don’t want to forget this piles, I’ll do that first thing tomorrow morning piles, gotta get done before the end of the day piles, etc etc etc. The biggest challenge with the pile system is that things get lost and priorities get replaced with urgent to do’s and the whole system comes crashing down at 3:22pm on Friday when you see that you have A LOT to do first thing on Monday.
While the Pile System is highly productive and infallible, sometimes you have to focus and therefore need to quickly declutter your desk.
Back to the Basics. What do you actually need to get your current project/job done?
You need to use your hyper focus super power lazered vision and take a good look at your desk and all of it’s current treasures. Anything (and in large quantities) on our desk that is not relevant to what you are working on has the ability to distract us and prolong the thing we are avoiding. I’m not saying that you’re avoiding anything, and I certainly never avoid anything, all I am suggesting is that if there is something else to do when a lull presents itself, consider me entertained for at least 10, which generally leads to other very interesting irrelevant things and before I know what has happened, I’ve ordered a massage with a really great groupon coupon, renewed my library books and watched a couple of funny videos that my friends posted on Facebook and also liked and posted on LinkedIn and now I need to pee and drink more water because my throat feels dry. I really hope I’m not getting the flu or cold that everyone is talking about. Looks like my mind needs to be removed from my desk, I’ll keep you posted.
Those Papers tho.
Papers are like us, they’re happier when they have homes. There are 3 simple ways to quickly unorphan your paper pile.
- Use File Folders. One pile of coloured files is much easier for our brain to feel a sense of organization which allows us to focus like the Jedi’s we always knew we were.
- Put the File Folders in a holder of your choice. Some people prefer perpendicular, others say only horizontal will do.
- Binders with tabs. Binders seem redundant until you use one that has little tabs for your different projects.
All of these cute things that you found at that adorable store are really no more than a distraction, I am all for using objects/toys for creative enhancement but most of our desk toys have stayed past their welcome. If you can’t lift them to higher ground (top of your desk cabinet) give them to fellow employees, goodbye monkey! 🐒
Now you’re done! If you’re saying wait we didn’t do anything and I’m still not clear on how to declutter my desk quickly, then you are in good company. Love those old people sayings. The bottom line is if you don’t need it, eat it, give it away, throw it in the garbage or file it using a very colourful system. Happy Monday. 🙂