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Why is my desk always cluttered?

Messy desk, messy mind. It’s time to make a game plan! If you’re constantly feeling overwhelmed during office hours, it’s time for a change (no, we’re not talking about a different career path). The problem may be partly due to the clutter on your desk. If yours is clean right now, it may not be for long, because if you’re feeling overwhelmed by work the first thing to go will be a tidy workspace. You can control the mess on your desk, so steer clear of the following mistakes and take care of business sooner than later:

Mistake 1: Lacking a game plan.

Without a plan, you won’t be nearly as organized as you had hoped. Set goals and prioritize them. Are there too many knick-knacks on your desk, or is your computer desktop cluttered with digital files? Both of these problems can greatly contribute to your overall organizational abilities.

Mistake 2: Taking on too much at once.

When you feel overloaded, it’s tough to get organized. Take baby steps. Instead of trying to perform a miracle and do everything in one fell swoop, take 15 minutes every day to make small improvements to your work space. By the end of the week, you will have a system in place that is sustainable year-round.

nono_on overload

Mistake 3: Having too many priorities.

How can you stay organized when you think everything on your desk needs to be there? To make sure your focus stays intact during the day, only keep items on your desk that you use on a daily basis. Keep lesser-used things out of sight, and purge the rest.

Mistake 4: Forgetting to file.

If you have trouble finding your documents on a daily basis, it’s well worth getting organized. Take 10 minutes at the end of every day to file documents using a simple, alphabetical filing system. Start with plain folders with labels (you can buy a label maker if you like) and then create a file for each client, vendor or project. You can also color-code folders by project type.

nono_cluttered desk

What organizing no-nos do you commit on a regular basis and what have you learned from your mistakes?

Sam Landa edits the 1-800-GOT-JUNK? blog and is Content Manager and social media manager at 1-800-GOT-JUNK?. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Environment & Sustainability, and in her spare time, she enjoys playing live music and writing. Connect with Sam on  or LinkedIn.