Don't Keep Everything on Your DeskDate: 07/01/2021
One of our favorite sayings is "A cluttered desk top indicates a cluttered mind, but an empty desk top indicates an empty mind". Those with a cluttered desk may believe that when the boss sees such a desk he believes that the employee has as much as he or she can do, but the boss can also believe that the employee is not organized or efficient.
The person with a clear desk may feel the boss will believe the employee has little or nothing to do and is not needed. We don’t really know what every boss will think. It depends on their personality and beliefs.
Perhaps the best way to behave is a middle ground. Don’t have too much on your desk at one time, but have a few papers that you are working on.
If you let too many pieces of paper of some interest pile up on your desk, you waste a lot of time trying to find what you want. You often then ignore what is most important. On the other hand, if you have nothing whatsoever on your desk, it can indicate you have nothing to do or you simply don’t know what to do next.
Years ago when every executive and even purchasing managers had a private secretary, a really good one could organize your work and place the files, messages, and notes that needed to be handled on your desk each morning. That kind of worker would file each topic so it could be located instantly without the need of a password or program. Of course, computerization does it better. Not only is it quicker, but it can be cross referenced to as many other topics as you like. Each topic can gather all related topics into a single folder. Any document can be easily duplicated, revised, printed, and sent to as many people as you would like.
One thing is certain, we need much less paper than we used to require. Everything is done electronically. We save paper, we reduce mistakes, we save on postage, and we save time. Everything has improved unless there is a failure of the electronic system. Just make sure everything is backed up in the cloud, locally, or on removal media.