Clean Off Your Desk Day is all about preparing your workspace for the new business year and beginning things on the right note. As more and more of us are now working from home, it is important to recognise this day, and practise it on a regular basis – don´t just wait for the annual reminder!
Remember, a messy desk is an invitation to chaos! A clean desk, on the other hand, helps you focus, be more productive, and generally makes you feel good about your workspace. And when we say clean, we don’t just mean dust or physical clutter – your computer desktop counts too. Drag those files into nice, neat folders!
How you position and treat your workspace is not only good for your mind, but also for your physical health.
Here are some ways to clean off your desk and start to bring some calmness, harmony and good health to your workspace.
BE BRUTAL! SAY GOODBYE TO THE JUNK
Just like when you go through your wardrobe, you might put things into three piles – “Throw, Shred or Recycle!”. Cleaning begins with getting rid of what you don’t NEED.
ORGANISE, DECLUTTER AND DESTRESS
Even though I do believe in “organised chaos, a cluttered desk can create anxiety which will not help if you have a busy workload.
BE HEALTHY AT YOUR WORKSPACE
It is so easy to become engrossed in your work especially when working in the comfortable surroundings of your home, but as we have no social interaction, we tend to work more and take less breaks. Often, we do not have the correct office furniture, and find ourselves working in unhealthy positions without realising.
We all remember to clean and polish our desks, mop up any coffee spillages etc, but do we remember to clean the keyboards. We are now used to using hand sanitisers, washing more regularly, but when we are out and about, we touch things, we touch our mobile phones and then our keyboards. Aside from the recent crisis, did you know that in an office there could be as many as 16 million microbes!!! (One blessing about working from home).
By at least taking some time to think about “Clean Off Your Desk Day”, perhaps it will make us more inclined to clean and organise our workspace to make it more functional and practical for us when working at home as now it is not just a temporary space. When it is more organised, it will help us to be focus better, think about our health, be more productive and stress less.
GET THE PROFESSIONALS IN
We all probably think there is nothing wrong with the way our home office is set out – but here are some tips from the professionals as to how you can make some easy changes to provide the biggest benefits:
HEALTH: Mariëlle de Bruin is a fully qualified Osteopath and Physiotherapist and sees many patients with problems that often-simple fixes at your desk and in your workspace environment could have prevented. Here are Mariëlle´s top tips.
DECLUTTER YOUR DESK/HOME OFFICE. Make sure it´s a healthy place! The following steps will take only 5 minutes to do.
- If you use laptop / tablet: ideally, connect them with an external keyboard and mouse. Place the screen on a little drawer organiser or similar so the top of your screen is about eye level.
- Place a pillow in the small of your back to support an upright position and make sure you sit back in your chair. In case your feet don´t reach the floor, place a foot support. (In these cold days it keeps your feet warm as well)
- place your screen and keyboard far away from you on the desk and pull your chair as close to the table as possible. This will allow your forearm to rest on the table, which relaxes your shoulder and neck muscles.
- Reading glasses are made for a short distance (reading a book). Your screen is further away than that. Usually, you need about 0.5 less strong for the computer (so +1,50 instead of +2,00) You can buy computer glasses, they have a special anti-reflective coating or tint that blocks the blue light of your screen, lessening the strain on your eyes.
- Taking short breaks in which, you take your eyes of the screen and move arms, spine and neck are the best way to prevent or reduce work related aches and pains. You can download a ¨behind your desk¨- exercise program and use a timer on your computer or phone to encourage you to remember to take these short breaks.
There is much more to say about how you can optimise your position behind the desk, but if you can build these “easy to do” tips into your routine, you will go a long way already to get the job done in a healthy way.
Take care of yourself! Mariëlle de Bruin Osteopath – Physiotherapist 670663910 firstname.lastname@example.org www.marielledebruin.eu FB: @osteopathycostadelsol
CALM: Nadine Kazerounian is a De-cluttering Professional and Personal Image Coach.
“A tidy desk means a tidy mind”, so said my old maths teacher. And she was right! So, where to begin? Here are my Top Tips:
- Before you begin, take a picture from your office doorway, and take a long hard look at it to observe clutter hotspots & get a fresh perspective.
- Practise the FOUR R´s. Clear everything off your desk, sorting into boxes of ‘Rubbish’ (old Post-its & receipts), ‘Recycling’ (papers no longer needed), ‘Return’ (whatever does not belong there), and ‘Retain’ (all the essential work items).
- Clean & disinfect all surfaces including desktop & shelves ensuring all cables are tidy and hidden if possible.
- Reorganise with a purpose. Ensure essential items are always to hand & store what’s used less often to ensure a smoother workflow. Create work zones on your desk for ‘research’, ‘writing’, ‘meetings’, ‘emailing’ etc. When everything is accessible, each day will stop feeling like a struggle.
- Use desk drawer organisers, filing boxes and desk top containers for essential items.
- Go paperless – go digital – use cloud storage! Initially, break this task down into bite size chunks to make it less daunting, tackling one file box or folder of paper at a time. Thereafter, plan to do this daily until it’s finished. Be ruthless. Be consistent.
- Going forward, allocate 5 minutes at the end of each day to tidy your desk ready for the next day. Each new day brings fresh opportunities. Be ready for them! And at the end of each week, set your intentions for the following week, make your plan, and have a mini clear out so that, on Monday, you can start the week afresh.
- If you are seeking inspiration whilst at your desk, spend a few hours creating a Dream Board & put it up on the wall where you can see it every day to boost your creativity, your productivity, and your mood.
An organised environment really does create an organised mindset. So, don’t delay. Begin now to set things in order and leave behind the frustration & stress of clutter that may have been holding you back.
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HARMONY: S Lee Wright is a holistic & Feng Shui Interior Designer. She believes you can creatively adjust your office space to meet your new requirements of working from home in an eco-friendly way which will leave your healthier, happier, and more empowered to be productive. Home office designs need to be altered to emphasise self-sufficiency. The outcome of this crisis brings the need for a renewed sense of appreciation for our workspace as most of our day is based there and is therefore the foundation of a harmonious working environment.
Connection to nature, by either being near a window or by bringing nature indoors is extremely important. A simple plant or some colour, even a picture on the wall can help calm the mind. Aligning your inner vision with your physical environment is truly the portal to living and working in balance. “It´s not just a pretty space!” Your home office can radiate happiness, health, and harmony.
Why is Clutter Bad for You? The “Clutter Effect” limits our ability to think and act. We have a decreased sense of pleasure. We eat unhealthier and have less self-control. Disorganisation leads to a loss of time. Imbalance is a result from visual disorientation.
· Everyone needs a place to keep paperwork. Even in this day and age of paperless, and digital offices, we still seem to have a load of paper that comes into our lives that needs to be dealt with regularly. If you keep on top of it, you will be grateful later.
· Gather all your paperwork together in one place. If you are like most people and do not have an organised system already in place or do but it gets overwhelmed, then this is always my first step. So, go around and get all the paperwork together.
· Separate into the read/file category, read/recycle category, read/do something category. Then there is the URGENT category of things you see that you meant to do ages ago but forgot to do. Just do not get distracted and do them until after you have decluttered your paperwork.
· If you do not have a system of how to manage the paperwork you ought to invest in designing and or purchasing one. They are a lifesaver of hours and hours of your life. No more time wasted looking for that document, or tax bill or letter.
Good things take time to build and this is one that the long-term benefit to your quality of work/life will vastly improve once this is your new norm. Mindfully addressing the things, you allow into your workspace is the first BIGSTEP you can take to regaining CONTROL of your life and creating a workspace that supports your overall health & happiness.