If you’ve been feeling distracted at your desk, look around. Is your workspace cluttered or disorganised? If the answer is yes, this can make it harder for you to focus. Perhaps it’s time to declutter and possibly consider a minimalist desk.
This is my current desk. I once had a regular workstation covered with stationery and files, until I fell in love with the clean and calming atmosphere of a clear desk. Adopting a minimalist desk for the past few years has improved my productivity and made it more enjoyable for work or play.
Inspired? Here are 5 tips to help you achieve a decluttered, minimalist desk.
1. Scan and Digitise Documents
Scan or take photos of all receipts, notes and documents and keep digital copies. File originals in a cabinet if necessary or discard them, whichever you are more comfortable with. Use digital sticky notes instead of post-its, OneNote instead of a notebook, the list goes on. Now, all you have to do is search your computer instead of rifling through files and physical paperwork.
2. Put Away Stationery and Office Supplies in Drawers
Any stationery you do not use regularly can be stored in drawers. It only takes a second to pull them out. Once you make this a habit, you may realise how this frees up space and visual clutter. Personally, I prefer to have all stationery stored as I digitise most of my work. Do what fits your lifestyle and what you are comfortable with.
3. Minimise and Hide Electronic Devices
This is subjective and depends on your preferred setup. If you have an external monitor and do not need dual screens, try stowing the laptop out of sight and using an external keyboard. For instance, I keep my capable but bulky gaming laptop beneath the desk on a chest of drawers. This frees up a ton of desk space. Wifi extenders, routers and extension cords can be hidden below the desk or behind your monitor as well.
4. Finish Tasks and Pack Up Immediately
Get your work done as soon as you can and clean up immediately. The sooner you complete a task, the sooner it will stop distracting you and the sooner it will stop taking up space at your desk.
5. Purge on a Regular Schedule
Purge your desk regularly. Do you really need that post-it from last week? Or that document from yesterday? How about that ornament from last Christmas? Set a schedule and decide if it will be once a day, alternate days or once a week. You’ll thank yourself for making this a habit.
I hope these tips will help you on your journey to a better workspace. How do you manage your desk? I would love to know!