By Andrea Osborne, from cushion the impact

If your desk needs a fast and furious makeover her are six successful tips to help you clean up your act.

EMAIL SURGERY – Did you know we only use 20% of our emails correctly? Using emails inefficiently can drain our productivity. So organise them, create different folders for emails to keep all relevant messages together. This will enable you to find what you need a lot more quickly. Use filters so that much of the organising is done by the email server rather than you and definitely keep work emails separate from personal ones.

GO PAPERLESS – This can be a rather scary process but many businesses run on paperless desk policies. It’s tidier and better for trees surely? So unless you work in a highly creative role, ask yourself if you need to print that report.  Most of your work can simply be filed on a hard drive. Allocate an afternoon when you can switch off your emails, close your screen and focus hard on parting with all those old magazines and files that are just floating on your desk. That’s what the recycling bin is for.

ARCHIVE, ARCHIVE, ARCHIVE – Do you really need emails dating back to the start of the year? Yes, you might need to access old files to check details and contacts but older projects will take up space for nothing so get archiving. Sort your files and emails safely and chronologically so you can find them when and if you ever need to in the future.

TAKE IT HOME – After party season you will undoubtedly have accumulated a makeshift wardrobe under your desk; shoes, makeup and unwanted secret Santa gifts piled high. Get rid of excess objects and personal items that simply cause distraction. It’s pretty simple, either tidy them away out of sight or take them home where they belong.

GO POST-LESS – Eliminate the post-it jungle that you have so carefully managed to arrange into a tidy line around your screen over the past year. Why not type up any useful notes with a programme such as ‘Sticky Notes’ and access it directly when you want to and hide them when you don’t.

APP UP – There are lists of apps which claim to sort everything in your life out. Stick to the best. I recommend uploading Dropbox and Basecamp. Dropbox is an excellent way to file all your large files and share everything you are doing with your colleagues for free on phone or tablets as well as pc and laptops.Basecamp is another great one for more complex projects. Everyone can see exactly what needs to be done and what everyone else is working on. Basecamp offers a 60 day free trial.


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