It’s been a productive morning. You’ve posted, tweeted, scanned the 3-minute reads on Medium and are on your second cup of tea.

You really must make that client call.

And you will. Right after you tackle the unholy mess that is your desk.

Sound familiar? OK, so it's clearly time for a productivity-boosting clear out. But why is mess such a problem and is there a method to clearing the madness?

Lets look at the art and science behind four of the most effective ways to organise your desk.

Clutter. What Clutter?

Clutter affects concentration. Chaos distracts and the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute has published a study to prove it. Einstein might disagree, but unless you are a genius, remove last year’s sticky notes, buy a large bin and create ‘put me here’ space so keys and umbrellas don’t get in your way - or lost! Then, follow these ten steps to zen decluttering.

Download Office in a backpack ebook

Say Feng Shui or Fung Shwey

The Chinese believe in channeling positive energy or ‘chi’. Feng Shui is the art of arranging plants, objects, art, books and technology in an airy, sunlit space to improve the flow of chi. Bring harmony, health and prosperity into your world. Use a bagua map so you don’t accidentally sacrifice creativity for your career or your family for fame. The same rules apply whether your desk is in the corner office or in the closet.

When in doubt, rearrange

The simplest way to get organised is to rearrange. Keep separate trays for the paper trail; a caddy for stationery; non-essentials in desk drawers; no more than three personal items and an A4 sized white space. Place your monitor at eye-level and your lap top (or typewriter) centre stage. Your workspace is now your command centre.

Go minimalist

Still distracted? Sweep everything off your desk and find a happy medium between Andrew Hyde and KonMarie. You might find that your laptop, a plant, photo and coffee mug is all you need to stay happily focused.

Trying to organise your desk is as much an art as it is a science.

New Call-to-action