You may know where everything is on your messy desk, but what does your cluttered space say about you to co-workers and superiors? Are you missing out on career-defining opportunities because your peers think you lack organizational skills?
People associate a host of traits with organization – maturity, discipline, value, focus and more. If you are known as the untidy, disorganized employee, you may be unknowingly viewed in an unflattering light. Even if you are leaps and bounds more mature than the office class clown, there is a possibility that your disorganization can put you in the same boat.
The honest truth is that perception is reality. You may be the hardest working employee that your office has, but not if your co-workers can’t navigate your workspace to find an important document in your absence. So how do you remedy your clutter habit?
- Time management – You might be surprised by the amount you can get done in a short period of time. Give yourself 10 minutes to organize your desk each day and you’ll be amazed at the results.
- No miscellaneous folders – Every paper on your desk should have a home. Your paid orders should be separate from your client worksheets — far away from your stockpile of takeout menus.
- Minimal is magical - Too many focal points in a workspace can be overwhelming. Besides looking overstimulating and disorderly to coworkers, having so many things to look at can actually be distracting and decrease productivity. Keep your photo frames of family and your desktop calendar, but put unnecessary things away in your desk or on a shelf.
- Electronic cleanup – If you have emails that do not require any action on your part, it’s time to set them free. Delete, delete, delete! Also, if your team has a system for saving files in shared folders, make it a habit to save and organize your work consistently so your team can find things easily.
Even if you insist your disorganization is not hindering you at work, it would be in your favor to make a better impression on your supervisors and fellow employees by making your workspace less chaotic. Do you have any tips that help you stay organized at work? Let us know! Visit Doherty’s Facebook or Twitter to share your knowledge with us!