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A clean desk is a prerequisite for 20% higher efficiency
Research by the Fraunhofer Institute shows that 10% of the average working time is spent on search activities.
No wonder that most managers have a “clean-desk policy”. This helps to save time.
However, in real-life it is often difficult to follow good plans
Many employees experience difficulty in keeping their desks in order.
Within a very short time, they will once again spend their time sitting behind piles of paper and office utensils – partially hidden from the world.
To a clean desk policy in 5 steps
The following five steps will help you get to a more organized and tidier desk.
They were developed by the well-known German expert on efficiency, Jürgen Kurz (www.buero-kaizen.de), under the motto “Office-Kaizen – 20% more
efficiency in the company”.
Plan to implement these five steps in your diary and allocate a few hours to do this.
You will gain tremendous benefit and increased work efficiency from this change.
Make sure to use only one tray for all incoming materials of the day!
All working papers, documents, projects, and mail belong in this tray.
Remove all other trays from your work table.
Make an agreement with yourself to discard all irrelevant material immediately, which you have “temporarily stored”.
Important things will end up in your “inbox” (tray).
Select a folder with dividers from 1– 31.
Give each of your projects a number and place the files in the corresponding numbered section.
Now create a table of contents for all the projects and put it as the first page in your folder.
In your diary, enter the dates for the processing of each project and add the project number.
This allows you to determine when and which project is to be processed, ensures uncomplicated access to the corresponding section using the project numbers, and creates a clear instrument for the processing of all your projects.
Use a book with several transparent sheets or make your own.
In this book, you can store all the information needed regularly, such as telephone lists, important addresses, account numbers that you need frequently, and much more.
Note: The table of contents that you created will be inserted as the first page in your book.
Place your book on top of your file cabinet to ensure that you can access it at all times.
All other documents such as printouts and magazines that you want to read occasionally, should be placed in a separate stack, preferably on a shelf in a cupboard.
Note: the height of this stack is limited by the next higher shelf, about 40 cm. Once this height is reached, take out the lowest 10 cm and throw them away.
Place all small office accessories such as pens, scissors, hole punches, staplers, etc. on the desk in front of you.
Select the items that you really use from this collection.
Think about how many ballpoint pens, glue tubes, erasers, and things you genuinely need.
Go ahead and remove the unnecessary items.
Now place everything you want in a neatly organized drawer.
After each use, make sure that the items are consistently moved back to their original place.
This way your work table remains tidy and mostly empty. This allows you to create optimal conditions for the performance of your daily work.
Dispose of Conscientiously
If you are unsure whether you will need particular documents in the future, store them in a box in a cabinet.
If you have not opened the box after one year, you can dispose of the documents in the box with a clear conscience.
If the topic of ergonomics in the office or home office appeals to you and you are interested in it more deeply, I can recommend my book “Wellness in the Office”. Combined with humorous drawings, I pass on 50+1 tips to make your office a little paradise.