7 things you shouldn’t have at your desk

Maximise efficiency, minimise clutter
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A tidy workplace is proven to be the best environment to foster maximum productivity but even the most streamlined of spaces has its share of distractions.

Whether your desk is at a home office or a company setup where you’re surrounded by fellow employees, there are certain items you should keep well away from your immediate workspace.

Often what tends to happen is that as your day unfolds, the detritus collects around you. Instead of ignoring the build-up and becoming swamped, take time out during the day to vary your tasks – both work and personal – to maintain a healthy balance.

7 things you shouldn't have at your desk
(Credit: Melvin Thambi on Unsplash)

1. Lunch

Eating lunch at your desk lowers your productivity and produces odours that may distract others around you. Make the effort to take a proper lunch break by moving to your kitchen, designated lunch room or better still, get outside and enjoy your lunch in nature or with colleagues to stimulate creativity and promote better working relationships.

2. Phone

This is a difficult one to manage with the modern device-led lifestyle we all exist in, however many personal matters are managed from your own phone and these can pose real distractions to the task at hand. According to research, even when it’s switched off it’s a distraction. Keep it off your desk and on silent for the most part of the day, just checking in occasionally during breaks.

3. Dirty dishes and mugs

The presence of dirty coffee mugs and/or food plates represents unfinished business. Cleaning your mug directly after you’ve finished a cup of tea or coffee puts a bookend to the process and allows you to move on to your next task without lingering responsibility.

7 things you shouldn't have at your desk
(Credit: John Downs)

4. Personal papers

Allocate a time during the day to address personal tasks such as payments and legal or official duties is preferable to having paperwork sitting on your desk in clear view of your colleagues all day compromises your privacy.

5. Lollies

The best intentions for the occasional treat may turn to mindless snacking whilst you work – a dangerous trap to fall into, risking the beginning of unhealthy habits. Snacks during the day are fine but stick to healthy options and take a break to prepare them away from your desk.

6. Vanity items

A toothbrush in your drawer is a great idea however a mirror for touch-ups to makeup and skin care creates unnecessary distraction – both for you and your colleagues. Take a walk to the bathroom to attend to personal care.

7. Your CV

Even with the best intentions, in the wrong context a CV in plain view can signal a restless employee to your boss and/or co-workers. By all means address and update skills and details to meet current work requirements but do so away from your desk or in private.

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