Do You Need To Sort Your Screaming Desk?

Chaos is inherent in all compounded things. Strive on with diligence. ~Buddha

What’s on tap today?

I’m fairly certain you’ve got quite a bit going on so let’s take just a minute or two to assess your workspace.

One of the top things we need to perform our best work and get the most from our day is focus.

It’s a challenge though when your desk is growling …or even screaming at you. Time to sort your screaming desk!

Have a look around and ask yourself a few questions:

1 What is distracting?

Is your monitor framed in Post-It notes, has a sea of paper flooded across your desk? Is there a mix of books, post, or electronics, yelling “look at me!”?

2 What have you had to search for?

Did you have to shuffle several things around before you found an invoice, a client document, or your stapler? How long did it take?

3 How do you feel in your office or workspace?

Do you have enough surface to work comfortably, or are you perched at the edge working from a patch of space the size of a business card? Can you move around freely to get what you need? What’s at your feet?

As soon as I hear my desk start growling from the build-up, I stop what I’m doing and restore the order.

If your desk is growling today, then I want you do to the same.

Now, stopping work operation to sort out your workspace may feel like a counter-intuitive thing to do. It may even feel a bit indulgent as you face the workload you’ve set for yourself today.

I get that. I used to feel that way, too. Until I realised that ploughing through chaos was slowing me down and not doing me any favours. So now, unless I’m on a super-tight deadline, I’ll stop as needed to keep my workspace orderly.

That doesn’t mean I have a clear desktop, far from it. What I ensure, however, is that there’s nothing to distract me and that what is there has been purposefully placed, is relevant to my current work and is part of a system.

As business owners and busy professionals, it’s our responsibility to create – and maintain – a working environment that supports concentrated, productive work.

That takes regular effort, I know!

A few things to put your mind at ease…

  • Stuff accumulates! Don’t beat yourself up if the state of your desk is akin to the ‘Wreck of the Hesperus’. If anything acknowledge that it’s a show of your dedicated work – opportunities, projects, clients, collaborations, whatever.
  • Acknowledge that restoring order is part of business (and life for that matter!). Think of it as basic business maintenance. I love a metaphor, if you do too then think of it as ‘oiling the machine’. A machine simply won’t perform as well if it’s not conditioned regularly and there’s dirt and grit in the way.
  • Give yourself permission. With the points above in mind, give yourself permission today, now if can, to restore any needed order to your workspace so you can perform your work with greater ease and focus. If it helps, I’m giving you permission, too!


>>> Action Point #1:

You don’t have to spend hours and hours. If time is of the essence, set an alarm for what you can afford, e.g. fifteen, twenty or thirty minutes, and just focus on what’s most directly in your way.

Maybe it’s clearing the surface, recording the information on the post-it notes so you can take them all down (ahhhh that feels better already!) or re-ordering those important client documents.

>>> Action Point #2:

If your workspace has become significantly backlogged, then your other action point – besides doing a minimal sort-out now – is to block out some time in your diary to get the remainder under control.

Whether it’s four hours on Friday, an hour each day at the beginning or end of the day, or at the weekend if that’s what works best for you. Block it in your diary now and treat the time like an appointment.

Our environment really does affect us – it affects our mood, and our ability to focus. So make the effort – for yourself and your business – to make your workspace energising, inspiring and supportive of your work.

Give yourself permission.

Set a timer, restore order.

Make it priority.

Rinse and repeat as needed.

Results to share? Do comment and let me know how you got on, I’d love to hear!

P.S. If you, or someone you know, needs more in-depth help in restoring order or creating better organisational systems in your office, let’s have a chat. This is precisely how I help my clients, so don’t sit there struggling when we can turn it around! Click here to book a call with me.


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