Think you are too busy to clean off your desk? Think again. A messy desk makes it harder to be productive. costing you time, money, and business. Here are some easy ways to clean off your desk even when you’re busy.

Much of what’s on your desk are things you need to do. So instead of letting things you need to do get buried under other things you need to do, set up action files. Label your action files with action words, such as: To Call, To Enter, To File, To Pay. To Do is much too vague – call it what it really is.

Be sure the labels make sense to you and be consistent. Avoid any files labeled “Miscellaneous”.

Why should you clean off your desk? You won’t waste time searching for what you need when you need it. Less clutter on your desk makes it easier to focus on the task at hand. Keep only the items you need frequently (daily or several times per week) on top of your desk. Everything else can go in a drawer or on a shelf.

Where should everything go once you clean off your desk? Make sure everything has a home where you can find things quickly and put them away when you are finished. Use containers to store like items, such as project boxes, literature sorters, in/out baskets, shelves, and file boxes. Store items where they are used. Completed projects can be filed away.

You can stay organized all year long. Take a few minutes at end of day to put things away so you’ll be ready for next day. Spend some time each quarter or twice a year to go through this process again to keep your desk and office clutter-free.

I’d love to hear about the challenges you have keeping your desk organized.

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