Did you just shudder a little reading the title of this post? Did you glance guiltily at your desk, the top of which hasn’t been seen since the Clinton inauguration? If you answered yes to either, let me reassure you all hope is not lost! And neither is the top of your desk.
In fact, organizing your work space can be as simple as setting aside 5 minutes a day. Impossible, you say? Too much clutter? You’d be surprised. To prove it to you, I offer you this challenge: Set a timer. Your watch, a timer on your computer perhaps, whatever you can manage. With a bag or your wastebasket at the ready, for 5 minutes throw away whatever you can see on your desktop that doesn’t belong there. If you need to, set aside any items that should be in drawers and not on the desktop. Don’t worry about putting them away right now; just set them off to one side. Work until the timer beeps. Stop.
Now take a look at your desktop. Seeing a dent in the madness? Chances are, 5 minutes took care of a lot more than you imagined! If you do this once a day, sticking to the 5 minute rule, you’ll find the top of that desk before you know it. When you’ve managed to throw away all that shouldn’t be there, you can start on the desk drawers and files. 5 minutes a day. Eventually, there won’t be any throw-away items left, and you’ll be able to commit those 5 minutes a day to organizing, and eventually even a little decorating with a few well-chosen personal items.
The trick is to never overwhelm yourself with cleaning. Don’t go over the 5 minutes, and you’ll find you won’t feel dread about tackling the disorganization, but instead you’ll actually look forward to it!
Now, depending on the current condition of your desk, this may take you a couple of days only, or it may take weeks. But don’t give up! The end result will be a clean, organized work area that will actually make you feel excited about sitting down and digging into your work for the day – it’s truly surprising! Nothing is a better motivator for working on a project than knowing where everything is, and having the room in which to do it. You’ll find your actions will motivate others around you as well. A new spring in your step? A whistle as you walk into your office first thing in the morning? It’s entirely possible, and with only 5 minutes a day.