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Tip Of The Day #64 - A Cluttered Desk

Barbara Steckly

Barbara Steckly

A Cluttered Desk

The concept of a “clean desk” is much maligned in those popular internet jokes, said to be the sign of a cluttered desk drawer, an employee who doesn’t do a scrap of work all day and/or a sick mind.

The Harvard Business Review, however, claims that a neat desk can actually lead to five additional minutes of productive work every day.

First of all, an orderly desk promotes Improved Focus. Studies revealed that those employees with a clean workspace not only had better concentration but demonstrated a more efficient prioritization of tasks which led to more successful work results.

Less Wasted Time was another plus.

The unproductive time spent searching fruitlessly for a misplaced file, say 15 to 20 minutes, could be used to complete a quick but crucial task.

In other related research, findings proved that dividing your attention among too many things at once can limit your thoughts. This means that if your desk is cluttered, you may have trouble focusing on other tasks, which can increase your stress levels.

Recent statistics assert that employees spend approximately 2.5 hours of their day searching for information. This can cost a 1,000-person organization $2.5 million a year!

Your desk is merely the beginning.

Establishing an organizational system for your entire company will ensure employees know exactly where important files should be placed, ultimately reducing anxiety, increasing morale, not to mention saving time and money.

You might have thought you had more pressing things on your plate right now than cleaning your desk, but, clearly, you’d best get to it.

Although, I can’t help but empathize with Albert Einstein in HIS musings on the subject….if a cluttered desk is the sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then is an empty desk a sign?


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