What’s on your desk? If you’re interested in reducing your workplace stress levels, take a look.

  • Remove items you rarely use. Is there a stapler or a tape dispenser on your desk? If you don’t staple several times each day, or haven’t used tape for 24 hours, put them in a drawer until you need them.
  • Every item on your desk competes for your attention. Get rid of clutter and unnecessary items. You’ll be more focused and better able to concentrate.
  • Organize your files. Look at the piles of boxes and files under your desk. Does it all need to be there? Store anything that you don’t actively use. Even if you do use the material, find a better place for it.
  • Clear the clutter. Keep a “work to be done” file in your desk drawer instead of in a basket on top of your desk. Use a drawer organizer to store pens and clips and miscellaneous office supplies.

Here’s how you’ll benefit:

  • Less stress. You won’t feel overwhelmed with only one project on your desk at a time.
  • More control. You’ll have fewer distractions, and you can focus on the item you are working on. That sends a message to your boss that you’re in control.

Source: Essential Assistant; March, 2003

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