13 Things on Your Desk You Need to Throw Out Today (or Tomorrow)

I do not agree with the saying that a “cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind” because, guess what -I can see very clearly that my desk is not so neat.  Which isn’t to say my desk couldn’t benefit from a clean-up, not for aesthetic purposes but because the activity itself can re-set work priorities and crystallize strategy (really!).  If you’re in denial, there are always places online to find people worse off than you (check out these messy desks).  A cathartic activity, desk-cleaning should be done at least every week (I’ve heard Mondays and Fridays are ideal days, but you might want to plan it around those village-sized conference calls in which you are just “listening in” and have a spare hand).  If you’re like me and schedule your desk cleanings around the change of seasons then you might be looking at a desk that includes at least these 13 things that need to emigrate to the garbage can:

* A half-written thank-you note to Kyle (whoever he is)

* Random almonds

* A legal pad filled with “VIN” – very important notes (from 2008)

* A brochure for an event (in 2010) that you forgot to attend

* Random tic tacs

* Business cards of long-lost strangers you met at a conference

* The spinning schedule at the gym (who are you kidding?)

* The laminated crisis phone tree from last year

* A sticky note that says “check out MySpace”

* The PR formula for ad value equivalencies (who are you kidding?)

* Torn-out magazine and newspaper articles (Hello, Internet!)

* Random Tylenol tablets

* A goodbye card for Delilah (that’s where it was!)

As you discard these items and tidy up your workspace, you’ll also find a lot of stuff worth keeping, re-reading, referencing and relaying to others.  You’ll be giving back to the environment, your peers and yourself – and you will have been the most productive attendee on the 15-person conference call.

– Diane Schwartz




  • http://SamaritanHealthcareNJ.org Carol Paprocki

    I feel like you had a secret camera in my office!Thanks for a good laugh.

  • Sheree Fitzpatrick

    It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one with old cards/notes AND almonds hidden on my desk. Guess misery loves company. Thanks for sharing Diane.