Friday, May 1, 2009

declutter your surfaces with the desktop dozen

Is you desk top/counter top a cluttered mess? If you do not know where to start decluttering, the following list will help. By tossing the items below, you’ll begin to uncover that lovely desktop once again!

  1. Obvious trash.
  2. Outdated or expired materials. Travel brochures, advertisements, propaganda and coupons all fall into this category. Also, if you can find it elsewhere (the Internet or library, for example), make note of that in your planner and let the item go.
  3. Unnecessary duplicates. Whether multiple copies of the same form or two computers when only one is needed, decide where you have duplication and pare down.
  4. Junk mail.
  5. Rough drafts of completed projects.
  6. Useless souvenirs and conference giveaways. Just because it’s free doesn’t mean you need it!
  7. Anything empty, unused, or unknown.
  8. Items you dislike and do not need. If you do not like or need it, and you own it, you have the right to handle it as you please (even if that means, gasp!, re-gifting!).
  9. Things you do not use on a daily basis. In general, the items on our desktops (and countertops at home) will only include those things we use on a daily basis: computer, telephone, planner, and coffee mug, for example. Whenever possible, other less frequently used items can find homes elsewhere, to keep our immediate workspace fresh and clear.
  10. Anything in excess. Rather than 70 pens of questionable functionality stuffed into a canister, how about three or four quality, easy-to-access ones instead? Seek out the excess in whatever form it takes and take steps to eliminate – or at least decrease – it.
  11. Materials that evoke negative or unresolved feelings.
  12. Items that do not help you pursue your goals. If you’ve written your personal purpose statement encompassing all aspects of your life (career, self, family and so on), you have a clear vision where you are headed and will more easily discern what “stuff” is blocking your path. Get rid of any items not helping you carry out your mission. You never know, they might be just the items to help others live their purposes!

After you’ve decluttered the desktop dozen, you will revel in the shine of your work surface! And now that you have begun making decisions on what to keep and what to toss, you’ll gain momentum and find further decluttering becoming even easier. Not only will you benefit from the new energy you’ll surely gain, you’ll also view your work with a fresh and clear attitude, too.

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