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With Christmas on our doorstep and the New Year just steps behind, it’s a great time to wave goodbye to the old and say hello to the new. Why not use the week between the 25th of December and 1st of January as an opportunity to organize your desk, the heart of your workspace.
In my seminars I always show a before and after picture of an office that I have previously organized. When I do, some of the attendees make comments about the after picture. One of the most common, believe it or not, goes something like this: “It looks like that guy (or gal) doesn’t have any work to do. Now they’ll be given even more work.” I once had a client who told me that a cluttered desk was a sign that he was important to his company. He equated clutter with success. “I will keep my job because I am a busy man.”
How about that! This kind of comment reveals the paradigm or mindset we often have about being organized. Instead of a cleared desk being a sign of efficiency and effectiveness, it’s a threat or a worry to our jobs and our self-esteem.
Actually, a person with a cleared — and organized — desk has achieved several significant milestones in professionalism:
- They’ve assigned a place for everything they need to get their job done and can find it in 15 seconds or less.
- They’ve eliminated or stored elsewhere anything that is not needed on a daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly cycle.
- They’ve invested 5-8 minutes at the end of each day to put everything back where it belongs.
So choose to believe that “keeping your desk cleared” is a sign of organization and competency. Your boss will not only notice the improvement, but will compliment you on it.
Start the new year with a clean desk and a clean slate. You’ll be glad you did!