Business of Well-being

How Your Messy Desk is Killing Your Productivity

Work can pile up sometimes -- It happens to all of us.  Things pick up and suddenly your desk is covered with stacks of paper. This clutter can have an adverse effect on your productivity, and not just because you can't find anything.

Researchers at Princeton University Neuroscience Institute published in the Journal of Neuroscience the "Interactions of top-down and bottom-up mechanisms in human visual cortex". The study concludes that a cluttered environment steals a part of your ability to process information and focus as compared to an organized and placid environment.

Here are some tools you can use to remove the clutter and give your mind the space it needs to work.

  1. Take time each week to clear your desk. Whether it's the first thing on Monday or the last thing on Friday. Take some time to go through everything in and on your desk and put it where it belongs.
  2. Set limits. Have too many magazines on your desk? Too many tabs in your browser? Set a limit and stick to it. Just how many of these diversions can you realistically manage, and remember, BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF!
  3. Think small. Utilize small storage spaces. This will encourage you to use less and keep less.
  4. Keep a waste bin nearby. When it is time to throw something away, don't put it down and forget about -- put in the trash.
  5. Go Green! Reduce the amount of papers you print or mail you receive. Your boss and Mother Earth will thank you!
  6. Get a filing cabinet. If you absolutely need a hard copy, keep it in an organized filing cabinet where you can find it.

So clean off your desk, and your work will be that much easier. For more ideas on how to boost productivity, check out the Employer Healthcare & Benefits Congress.

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