Do you remember Dennis Nedry, the double-crossing computer programmer at Jurassic Park? Well, due to his financial troubles and likely having to deal with a messy and disorganised desk, he didn’t last too long in the 1992 blockbuster film after attempting to smuggle dinosaur embryos off the island. While his demise undoubtedly came at the behest of a Dilophosaurus, we can’t help but point the finger at his disorganised working environment. I mean, it’s no wonder he went rogue. Just look at it!
If you want to avoid a prehistoric fate like Dennis, you’ll want to take heed of our desk organisation tips.
All pop culture references aside, having an organised desk space could be the difference between the office antagonist and efficiency. Hold on to your butts. It’s time to list the top 10 desk organisation tips for your office.
A close second in the hierarchy of desk organisation needs is ergonomics. Desk ergonomics covers everything from your desk chair to the position of your keyboard and even how far away your eyes are from your monitor. If you don’t have a desk, you can find writing tables for sale online. To keep things neat and tidy, below are a few of the most essential tips for an ergonomic desk setup.
- Choose a chair with adequate support for your spine.
- Adjust the height, so your feet rest flat on the floor. If your chair is too high for you, even at the lowest setting, use a footrest.
- If your chair has armrests, adjust them, so your elbows sit on top.
- Place your keyboard at the centre of your desk with your mouse on the right.
- Ensure there is enough clearance for your knees underneath your desk.
- Keep your monitor at arm’s length away from your eyes. You can test this by stretching your arm forward. The tips of your fingers should just about touch the screen.
- If you wear bifocal lenses, lower the monitor by roughly 5cm for a better viewing angle.
Tidy as you go
The easiest and most effective way to achieve an organised desk space is by cleaning as you go. Instead of letting dust and rubbish accumulate, regularly tidying your workspace will keep what can grow into an overwhelming task to a small daily chore that you can do at the beginning and end of your workday.
Make desk organisation easier by filing away documents when you’re finished with them, throw away any rubbish immediately, and return everything you use to where it belongs.
Don’t eat at your desk!
Just don’t. Although the mental impact of being stuck to your desk can be a lot to handle #burnout, crumbs are just as damaging. Beyond a bottle of water, a cup of tea, or your umpteenth coffee for the day, avoid bringing food to your desk or risk ending up with a filthy keyboard.
Reduce paper use
We live in a digital age, which means it's time to save the trees and skip the printer. Reducing paper use is an essential step towards an organised desk. However, if you require physical copies for whatever purpose, a filing cabinet will be a godsend. Just ensure that, too, doesn’t fall into disarray.
Furthermore, don’t get lazy with your digital organisation either. Organise that desktop and label those folders!
Use a desk organiser
We’re not going to tell you which desk organiser to go and buy, because everyone is different. With various desk organisers to choose from, hunt down something that suits your day to day tasks.
If you’re regularly using pens and pencils throughout the day, a desk organiser with a pen holder is a no brainer. Need to store paperclips or extra staples? Look for an organiser with small storage. The idea is to have a place for all the essential things you use at work. While aesthetics are important, sometimes the function is more crucial than form.
Shelving & drawers
Your desk isn’t the only place to store your office belongings. If your desk organiser is full, invest in a set of drawers or a shelving unit.
However, just like desk organisation, keeping shelves and drawers organised is just as important. Consider using drawer dividers to manage all your regularly used items or small baskets to organise your cupboards.
Monitor risers and mounts
The use of external monitors is becoming more and more popular these days as most office workers opt for the portability of their laptops. Although laptops are small, these monitors are not and often take up a considerable amount of space on your desk. To free up room, consider installing a monitor mount.
Alternatively, you can use a monitor riser to lift your monitor. Some monitor risers even incorporate drawers to give you extra storage space. If you have neither a riser nor a monitor mount, a stack of books or a solid box will do.
All the technology we use daily needs to power, and with that comes cables. And lots of them. Between your computer mouse, laptop, smartphone, keyboard, desk lamp and monitor, our devices can leave behind an unsightly mess of wires that can become difficult to untangle if left too long.
Cable management can significantly improve both the look and feel of your home office space. Consider investing some time to remove cable clutter using cable ties and other cable organisation tools like cable sleeves and cable boxes.
Keep your phone on your dominant side
Reaching across your body is awkward. Keep your phone on your dominant side to avoid doing so.
Wall storage: pegboards, pinboards, corkboards, whiteboards and blackboards
Like the idea of a desk organiser but don’t want it on your desk? The pegboard, and its smaller brother, the pinboard, is for you. Even whiteboards and blackboards can fit into this segment, with the added benefit of note-taking and reminders. You can even use a corkboard for something more old-school. Combine your wall storage with a magnetic knife strip to store metal items like scissors. You can even use them to hang cables too.
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