We’ve all felt that sinking feeling when approaching a chaotic desk in the morning. Just deciding what to do first, feels like a struggle. Perhaps your papers are neatly piled up, but you never seem to be able to get to the point of having a clear desk? Perhaps you’ve decided that the ‘clear desk’ is a myth which most hardworking people can’t afford to believe in or aspire to. And perhaps you’ve resigned yourself to having a desk that collects various degrees of mess….
Your desk gets messy because it’s acting like a giant ‘to do’ list
Many people with a clutter problem are afraid to put things away in case they forget about them. If you have this tendency, then it will be even worse with your desk. People commonly use physical or virtual files or emails to remind them of what their tasks are. Not only does this tend to make you prioritise what other people want you to do over what you think is important (after all their letter or email is right there in front of you reminding you), but it also makes it much harder to put anything away in case you ‘lose track’ of things.
If you have no system for scheduling your work, your desk will always be messy
No matter how often you tidy up those piles of papers on your desk, it will always feel like a chaotic and demanding space. And if you only use visual reminders as your way of scheduling work, you will always feel as though you’re running to catch up, and as though you’re at everybody else’s beck and call.
To stop your desk getting messy, start taking an overview
The only real solution to this feeling (even if you decide you like having a messy desk) is to get a ‘day book’ and start making lists of tasks in there, consulting it religiously, and using it to set your own working priorities. If you can do that, you’ll be able to put those piles of papers away, secure in the knowledge that your important projects won’t get forgotten.
For more information about how to organise your tasks so that nothing gets forgotten and on how to take control of your working priorities download a free excerpt of ‘Banish Clutter Forever’. It will start you on the road to being naturally tidy.