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.

Declutter your desk

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.