declutter officeA Cluttered Desk Can Significantly Impede Your Productivity as a Virtual Assistant.

If you can’t find an important file or even find a space for your laptop, you will waste valuable time looking for the file or just clearing off space. Worse still, clutter can be demoralizing and foster procrastination. Fortunately, decluttering your desk is possible – in just a few simple steps.

Here’s how:

1) Manage your time. First and foremost, if the task seems overwhelming, set a timer and limit yourself to just 15 minutes of decluttering at a time. You will be amazed at how much you can get done in just 15 minutes.

2) Put up or give up. Clear your desktop and put back only what you use every day. Store everything else in drawers, on shelves, in bankers boxes or in your supply closet. If you never or seldom use something, get rid of it. Give it away to someone who could make good use of it. Put anything that doesn’t belong on your desk in a pile. When the timer goes off, put all of those things away in their proper places.

3) No more “miscellaneous”. Don’t keep a “miscellaneous” file. Sort papers into files labeled specifically for the action needed. For example, keep a file for bills to pay, receipts to enter, papers to shred, etc. Anything that cannot be filed this way is not important enough to keep. Maintain virtual folders (and subfolders) the same way.

4) Organize your drawers. Arrange like items in each drawer. For example, put all of your office supplies in one drawer, stationery and notepads in another. That way, you won’t waste a lot of time searching for a pen when on the phone or looking for printer paper just before a deadline.

5) Clean out your virtual inbox. Declutter your virtual desk by deleting old emails that require no further action on your part. To store email you need to save, create a folder for it on your hard drive. Do not print emails unless you absolutely have to.

6) Use simple organizational tools. Bundle related papers together with clips, use trays for current papers or files (labeled “next week,” “this week,” etc.), and keep pens in a cup.

7) Take a moment. Whenever you have a break in the day, take a moment to trash or shred old paperwork you don’t need anymore.

8) Conclude cleanly. At the end of each day, before you step away from your desk, clear it off and put everything away in its proper place. Wipe off your desk with a cleaner or just plain water.

Now that your desk is clean, you can get down to business! A clutter-free desk makes for a clutter-free mind.

Share with us in the comment area below your decluttering tips 😉

Watch a video of how VAnetworking decluttered their office…

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