How can I stop anxiety while at work by cleaning my desk?

All too often we set up our office whether home or work, to look beautiful and clean. Even more fun is when it is a new space with new furniture. Added to the mix are a new computer and some organizational utensils to finish off the look. So why is it by 5 p.m. our desk seems like a hot mess? What makes it worse is when you leave it messy and in the morning head straight to that mess. Your anxiety levels begin to skyrocket. No one wants to start his or her work with an unorganized space.

Let me break it down of what you are doing wrong.

All the amazing organizing products you buy, but do not use properly, causes nothing but confusion. Buying things to make your desk look cute is great, but it makes your desk unusable by taking up space. Not utilizing any product for its intended use defeats the purpose of trying to be organized.

So let's see how we can get you to be a little more consistent, organized and happy.

  • Start with a clean slate and strip your desk. Take everything off so you can separate what is trash and dump it.
  • Once the dump is complete, gather any loose papers and stack them to the side. Time is limited, so this is a quick fix for later.
  • Think about all the things you need on your desk that will allow you to stay organized. Don't reflect on the visual aspects yet, let's leave those for last.
  • You may have pens, paper, a desktop or laptop, figure out quickly where you need these things to be on your desk. All the important things should be within arm’s reach.
  • Consider using trays like the ones sold at West Elm. Depending on the size of your desk they are great to hold little odds and ends, things like your stapler and tape dispenser, pens and rulers, etc. Moreover, even a little space for something pretty, like a candle or your favorite nail polish and perfume.
  • To give additional room on your desk, consider getting a computer stand. It gives your computer some great height while creating extra space underneath for more storage.
  • Get a clipboard to keep all papers you are working on that day. At the end of your time only gather all your paper and clip them on the board. Leave it neatly on your desk or tuck it away in a draw.
  • Five minutes before shutdown, take a look at your work area and start putting things back into place.

One thing I have learned about staying organized is everything should have a place, and if it does not, then it does not belong. Keep that in your mind, and I can guarantee you will become more organized. Obviously, when you are working, it may be difficult to have the perfect desk, but knowing there is a spot for everything will make cleaning up a breeze.