Keeping your desk clutter-free

Last updated 05:00 28/11/2012

IS THIS YOU? Declutter your work space now for a smart, fresh start after the Christmas break.

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It's getting to that time of the year again. Paper piles up as work Christmas parties and looming holiday plans take precedence.

Don't cross your fingers in the hope that Santa's little elves will have the office space sparkly and clean upon your return. Instead, follow these practical tips to help declutter your work area.

It will ensure you have a stress-free Christmas, and will start the New Year with clarity and structure.

Set aside uninterrupted time to have a clean-up. Now is the time to get your fingers on everything so you have a clear idea of what you have and whether you need it.

Put "like with like", touching each piece of paper, and labelling each pile. Don't be tempted to get involved with any detail on the papers in front of you. That is the easiest way to get distracted.

You can go through each pile and deal with the detail later.

When organising your work space, remember the area closest to you is the most precious, so be sure to keep it clear.

Resist the urge to keep things near you "so you don't forget them".

Don't fall back into bad habits. When new documents land on your desk, address them immediately using the RAFT system: Read, Act, File, Throw.

The more you employ the technique the better you will become at staying organised.


Robyn Pearce is holding a breakfast seminar in Wellington on Friday. Tickets are available at

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- The Dominion Post


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