Last Sunday’s lesson in my ongoing course in structure in Sweden’s major morning paper Dagens Nyheter was about what we need to think of in order to maintain our cleared desk empty.
In English, it translates as follows:
“Clear your workspace and work better
One of the most common things we start with when we want to improve our structure is to clear our desk. The thought is well-intended, but if we only clear it off and do not solve the actual problem of why it is cluttered in the first place, the desk will soon be back in its original state.
Go a step further after you have cleared your desk. Think about why you have chosen to make piles out of your papers, and try finding a way which accommodates the need for organizing them in such a way that your desk is left undisturbed.
- You have left something on your desk as a reminder that you need to do something. It will require less space if you make a to-do-task out of it, for example in an app on your phone.
- It was your intention to file it away, only later. Is it difficult to file away papers in the system you maintain at present? Could you scan the documents and file them away digitally or exchange your binders for hanging-file folders, which will make for easier and quicker ways to file things away?
- You wanted to keep the papers on your desk since you thought that you otherwise would lose or displace them. Do you keep these types of papers in several places and thereby run the risk of having to look in different places before finding them? Choose a single location to put your papers from now on, so that there is never any doubt where they might be.
Emptier workspaces make for less distractions and thereby enables you to work with greater focus.”