I hotdesk. Every morning I start with a desk and monitor, and at the end of the day I pack everything away. This means it’s easy to keep a clear desk as there is no time for items to build up; or does it?
I used to work with someone who kept a perfect clear desk. Although he worked on several projects his desk usually contained his notebook, pen and mug. I loved the space, but by the end of the day mine usually contains significantly more. To help identify my problem, I kept a record, over four weeks, of what was on my desk at the end of the day.
In total, there were 35 different items on my list, with the 14 most frequent offenders being shown in the graph above. Some of the other items were:
- web cam
- bottle of ink
- exhibitor badge.
The first things I notice, is the importance of food. I admit I tend to eat throughout the day and it shows. As I write this I’ve got a dirty mug, empty crisp packet and my lunch box on the desk (although maybe it can be excused as it is my lunch hour). The second thing I notice is the store of paper on my desk; it appears it just builds up during the day; from paper I’m currently using to papers to be filed or shredded. I guess I’m not moving to a paper less working any time soon!
I know it takes me longer than most people in the office to pack up my desk and leave work and this shows exactly why. I think only half of the items (shown in dark blue) have justification to remain on my desk e.g. notebook, and the rest are there because I’m switching between tasks too quickly and not closing them properly, such as filing paperwork.
On that note, I am going to finish this post and tidy up the items from my work this morning and focus on having a clearer desk this afternoon and hope I can reduce my clearing up time by half.
Do you have tips to share? Do you have a clear desk? How do you keep it clear?