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More Career Tips for You


6 Tips to Manage Desk Distractions

Lifestyle |

It’s easy to get distracted by the little things that life throws your way. De-clutter your desk, and life, from distractions by using these simple tips to organize your workspace and increase your productivity.

 

1. De-junk

Sort out all the loose papers, notes, magazines, and any other items that need to be addressed. File away what you need, recycle what you don’t, and save what you think you may need for the future. If you’re like me, you may have endless magazine tear-outs that you have saved for inspiration. Start that file or scrapbook you’ve been meaning to begin—it’ll clear your desk, and your mind, of distractions.

2. Tech issues

There’s nothing more annoying than an automatic update request filling your screen when you’re in the middle of a deadline. Set aside some time to update your computer’s virus protection, while also installing any new software that you may need. Keep on top of your digital filing, and clear out any cookies or temporary internet files that may be slowing down your computer’s productivity.

3. Backup and storage

We all know we should do this regularly, and it’s only when a crisis happens that we wish we had followed the sensible advice. Save your important and sensitive documents to external storage, as well as any picture and media files that you couldn’t bear to loose.

4. Desk accessories

Some companies have instated a clean desk policy to keep employees focused and organized. Invest in some proper filing for your desk such as a box, magazine files, or a simple tray to keep your papers in line. Why not accessorize with a matching pen pot or mousemat?

5. Color coding

Consider color-coding your in tray so you have visual cues for your organization. I have a purple file for documents I need each week, a green file for my writing, and a yellow file for important details, such as log-in information. No more scrabbling to find an all-important password!

6. Social media

This is perhaps the biggest distraction of them all. Five minutes checking your Twitter feed can easily turn into so much longer. Consider downloading apps like AntiSocial, which blocks specified amounts of time to social networking sites, and Focus, which helps to isolate certain windows on your computer.

How have you revamped your desk to minimize distractions and increase productivity? Share with us in the comments!

Ask New Levo Mentor Kim Keating, Founder and Managing Director of Keating Advisors, how her desk organization has evolved from investment banking to starting her own business.

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Topics

advice organization social media technology tips

13 Comments

These are some great tips for keeping yourself organized and productive both at home and work! I especially agree with the section on social media; I've been using StayFocused to limit the amount of time I spend on specific sites. One of the other key points to a productive work space is lighting, especially when working on a computer. We've covered some other great tips as well on our blog if you'd like to check it out!

http://www.dtelepathy.com/blog/productivity/optimized-workspaces

3y

I'd definitely recommend the FocusBooster app too!

3y

This advice is great! Especially the apps for stopping you from going on social media sites. It's such a bad habit to have at work!

3y

This is diff an area i struggle with, I've to do lists everywhere. We should share photos of our desk and maybe pick up tips..... what you think?

3y

I am definitely going to have to download those block social media apps! I always have such a tough time studying at my desk and always head to the library so I think these tips will come in handy when I head back to school. I loved this article!

3y

Nothing is better than having a clean and organized desk. Great tips!

3y

These are awesome reminders for what we can do to work productively at our desks... I especially need number 1... I always end up with piles and piles of papers/books on my desk!

3y

I love the phone holder, can you please let me know where to find it.

3y
Colleen Kopchik

Katie, I too love that phone holder! I did some digging and you can find it here: http://www.jonathanadler.com/white-smartphone-dock/?cat=566

3y

All such good tips! Once a week I go through all my things and "de-junk," cause I'm a little bit of a hoarder! The less cluttered your spaces are, the less cluttered your mind will be and your productivity will go through the roof!

3y

Wow this is some serious discipline. While I would love to do it, I do not think I have the power to!

3y

Organizing my desk is the most calming activity for me, especially when I get to color-code things! I like to take "before" pictures of messes, because it's very gratifying to pair them with beautiful "after" pictures once I've cleaned everything up.

3y

I need these tips!! I always let whatever place I'm working get so cluttered and it constantly leads to distraction.

3y
Laura Dunn

Laura is a graduate of Cardiff University, having successfully graduated with a BA in Journalism and a MA in Political Communications. She runs the successful global blog, 'Political Style,' and is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post and Mrs-O.org. Laura is currently writing her first novel. Laura interned in the US House of Representatives for Rep. Patrick J Kennedy (D:RI,) and has worked on both national and local election campaigns. She currently works for an Assembly Member at the National Assembly for Wales.