5 tips for organizing your desk

Seven out of 10 Canadian workers say their workplace is disorganized and causes a dramatic, negative impact on their lives, according to a recent study commissioned by Professional Organizers in Canada.

 "Canadians are in a constant time crunch and experience feelings of stress, failure and frustration," says Clare Kumar, a Toronto-based professional organizer. "Today's office workers must take stock of both their work habits and their environment, and take necessary action to alleviate the tremendous pressure disorganization has on their productivity and work-life balance."

To help Canadians make positive changes and take steps towards improving their personal productivity, ACCO Brands Canada Inc., a Canadian manufacturer of office products, is launching its third-annual Organize Your Desk Day, October 21st, in tandem with Small Business Week (October 17-23).

Organize Your Desk Day is a national program designed to assist small to medium-sized businesses help their staff to organize their work space and become more efficient and effective every day.

"By having the right tools in place, Canadian office workers can save at least 15 minutes per day which works out to a week and a half per year," adds Christa Wagner, a professional organizer in Vancouver. "This has a dramatic effect on the health of businesses and their workers."

Professional organizers say desks in disarray causes a drop of 20 per cent in worker efficiency; costing the economy billions of dollars in lost productivity. Studies show the average worker spends at least 400 hours per year searching for paper documents.

"It costs SMBs $120 in labour costs just to track down a misplaced document or $250 in labour to re-create it," adds Wagner. "This places tremendous stress on the bottom line for many businesses that need to return to profitability, especially coming out of the economic downturn."

"Increasing efficiency and productivity in the workplace can be easy if focused and dedicated to the task," says Kumar. She recommends these top five things Canadians can do today.

5 Tips for Organizing Your Desk

  1. Prioritize. Regularly revisit your priorities to make sure you're spending your time on the things that really matter
  2. Plan every week. Whether it be scheduling office meetings or deciding what you're going to have for dinner, a little forethought at the start of every week goes a long way to boosting your efficiency at completing necessary tasks
  3. Prepare a 'home'. Ensure that your desk's valuable real estate is allocated wisely by creating a 'home' for every item that serves you
  4. Practice letting go. Schedule time to edit your files and eliminate those you no longer need. Each quarter look at what you've accumulated from trade shows, company events and keep only what has real value. Soon it will become a habit
  5. Partner. Find a partner to work with to keep you accountable. Just as with any challenging goal, it can be more enjoyable and productive to work with a supportive person.

For more information about Organize Your Desk Day, visit www.organizeyourdeskday.com.