Do you know that what’s on your office desk could affect your productivity? It seems trivial, but they actually do. There is a debate on how an office desk should be: messy vs. tidy. You might think that messy means practical as it can help you find things easily. But those from the “tidy side” also have their own opinions thinking that clean is better and more productive.
The truth is, both have their own advantages. Studies have found that messy and tidy have different psychological consequences. Messy desks are good for creative workers because it tends to encourage more creativity. Meanwhile, tidy desks encourage conformity and general good moral behaviour. This implies that both are better, depending on your job requirements. If your job is dealing with various high focused tasks, you might need a tidy room to help comfort you and make you more productive. Otherwise, you might let your room get a little bit messy if you are a sculptor or painter.
Therefore, if you are someone who needs high focus when working, you cannot let your desk go wrong! There are a few stuff you need to get rid of it, immediately:
1. Piles of papers
Yes, you have plenty of work to do - and having a pile of paper in your sight is a sign you still have a lot of work to finish which might tire you. Hence, instead of putting the papers on your table, hide them from your desk. You can place them below your desk or behind your chair. This way, you can have more focus on the task in front of you. If you want to be reminded about the tasks you have to finish, you can just write them on your to-do list. Even better if you go paperless!
2. Desk toys
Your action figures, mini balls, or any other toys need to be out. Of course, desk toys are nice to play with when you are on a break. However, it also means distractions. Their presence makes you want to play with them, especially when you are bored. This could result in too many breaks at the office, especially if you are easily bored. Keep the toys on a shelf where you cannot reach them easily. Or, display them by the window (if you still want to show off your little friend). But remember, just let them sit there. Don’t invite your colleagues to play with the toys!
3. Desk clocks
Some people put it on their desk to keep track with the time even though they can see the time on their computer or watch. They might want to adhere strictly to the deadline, but it could be a wrong decision. Regular peeks at the clock can also distract you. You need to focus on one thing at a time, and the clock is clearly not helping. Put the clock out of your sightline. If you are the typical people who need constant reminders, turn on your computer or phone alarm instead. That way, you will not miss any important appointments without the clock.
4. Your phone (if your work doesn’t need a fast response all the time)
When you are highly focused at work then suddenly the phone is ringing, you are going to lose that focus instantly. So when you are on a task, leave your phone in your bag (in silent mode). Turning it off is also good for increasing productivity. Contrary to popular belief, multitasking is never productive. Multitasking is switching your focus from one task to another, and you cannot achieve the maximum result.