The two ways to keep a clean desk...

Sheila Chandra - Thursday, June 01, 2017

When was the last time you cleaned your desk, or your computer keyboard? When was the last time you saw the surface of your desk? Both these places are commonly found to harbour more bacteria than the average toilet, if not regularly cleaned. And some people make it a regular practice to eat at their desks…. Yuck!


What is a ‘clean desk’?

What most people think of when you use the phrase ‘clean desk’ is one that is clear of papers and well organised. Keeping on top of the paper clutter on your desk, can help exponentially with clarity of thought and your stress levels. It’s very easy to dismiss this as a ‘frill’ that you don’t need, especially when you’re young and can easily hold lots of things in your mind at once. You can even become addicted the sense of ‘urgency’ and ‘busy-ness’ that chaos produces, as it makes your job seem more complicated and a bit more like a battle, which actually secretly gives some people a buzz.


The price of an untidy desk

But having a chaotic desk usually means that you spend an extra percentage of time to complete tasks because your brain is having to constantly assess and categorise, and is constantly being distracted below your level of awareness. Most people don’t notice this extra time, because it is generally only 5-10%. 5% or 10% doesn’t seem like much, but over the course of days or weeks or months of your working life, it can make a lot of difference.


The cost of not having a clean desk builds up over time

If you’re a regular saver or a business owner, you’ll know how even small percentage differences build up. And 10% extra time to get the same amount of work done feels like too much time to me, for the indulgence of a not being bothered to set up a good working system or a ‘buzz’! A clear desk can also help with the effectiveness of your decisions together with the quality of your work (again because of the ‘distraction’ factor) and that too saves a lot of time in the long run.


Two ways to keep a clean desk policy

An efficient way to work is the obvious advantage of keeping a clear desk, but not the only one. It also makes it much more likely that you will clean properly, and that can mean that you’re less at risk of catching some nasty bug from your desk. (By the way, a bit of washing up liquid in warm water, together with a little ammonia for the germs, and a toothbrush which has been dipped in it and well squeezed into a towel first, to get into the gaps, is the best way to clean your keyboard). Now you’ve got two good reasons to keep your desk clear instead of one….

If you’d like to know more about how to keep a clear desk you’ll find details in the two home office chapters in ‘Banish Clutter Forever’…

Post has no comments.
Post a Comment

Captcha Image


Recent Posts


organizing for creative people self promotion hijacking creativity theft home organising letting go stay on top of email VIPs how to work efficiently appointments focus work trips to do list much better friend creative wellbeing jealousy creative people trope sheila chandra coaching 2018 goals clear desk mornings clearing in short bursts work priorities buy fewer clothes effortlessly tidy why organise working class culture creative organising being tripped up cleaning your desk creative spark emotional resilience vocation hotel room artistic conviction proposal writing temperament tidier under-confidence saving time brands mess exhaustion pop music confident in clothes tips for clearing creative career nurture creativity tidy feel like creatiing binge mature artists inconvenience professional encouragement creativity storage guilty purchases crowdfunding branding work efficiently slow and steady home life creative magic business interface to creative businesses arrogance network diary buying hope great artists being organized collections cupboard of shame clearing artists great art clearing as you go visualising productivity control artist peer-to-peer networks partners professional creative career imagination workspaces creative identity email concentrated creative time working class artists criteria for letting go of stuff brilliant creator grief artistic chaos car organisation overwork wind down email overload social media networking dynamic spaces making decisions work life funding pop culture elevator pitch diagnosis hobbies artist materials clear outs low maintenance popular culture morning routines sacrifice creative commissions fine art creative culture artist mentors peacefulness writing funding campaigns efficient work patterns business living clutter free well curated closet ‘stories’ about your possessions living mess free : clothes Sheila Chandra author work/home life balance stop hoarding stuff creative person networking cry staying in control artistry lazy tidy people multiple lifetimes creativity diary parent options emotionally secure artist getting ready for work nipping things in the bud anxiety green room clarity of thought creative confidence email bankruptcy minimalists good friend symptoms of creativity stay tidy automatically tension culture boredom inspiration artist goals myth creative ambitions chaotic quality artist mentoring buying stardust ‘creativity’ long-term artistic development bulk buy static spaces innocence artist workspaces commitment just in case tidy desk precious memories too many commitments domestic life procrastination clutter addict successful artist normality stardust how to save time platform smart artists warm down introverts clutter cleaning social media streamlining routines resentment networking effectively childhood tidiness in living spaces low maintenance strategies copyright time clutter loss lifetimes buying youth missed opportunities too busy hostile clutter wardrobe clean desk buying happiness emotional balance slim-line wardrobe absences nascent artists friends celebrity endorsed products spree tortoise and hare new year housework much quicker loving your audience touring hoarding double standard good creative habits critical acclaim magic disorganization creative career coaching card how to be naturally tidy the void stop cluttering clearing clutter proposals nurturing creative work buying wealth feeling creative business-speak career strategy fall of innocence organise well organized compulsion emotional support vulnerability home care subconscious mind friendships goals business-like good art work motivation professional mentors display items