Clean Off Your Desk

In my last post, I listed 10 ways for Music Therapists to Start the Year Off Right. Number 5 on that list was to Clean Off Your Desk. Michelle Erfurt wrote about professionalism on her blog and produced a newsletter series on professionalism. In that series, she talked about taming your office monster, which reinforced this idea I had, but hadn’t followed up on until today.

So that’s what I tackled today. This morning, as I drank some coffee, I sat down to write and my desk looked like this:

desk before

You can see my coffee mug, a bunch of papers, the CBMT Recertification Manual, pens and a bunch of other things that I stacked up there when I didn’t know what to do with something (or did know, but didn’t want to deal with at that moment.

I made CLEAN OFF DESK my one task for the day and when my kid went down for a nap, I resisted the urge to do the same and tackled my desk. I started with my guitar tuner, that was put on there so that I could replace the batteries and actually replaced the batteries and put it with my guitar. Then I took the bills and receipts and placed them in the spot designated for bills and receipts (which is NOT my desk!). I found some pens and stuck them in the pen cup. I threw some magazines that I was saving to read into the recycling bin (they are all outdated, I can find the issues online, and I’ll get another issue soon). I filed papers and put things away. Anything that took less than 2 minutes to deal with, got dealt with. Anything that would take more than 2 minutes to deal with got filed and an appointment on my calendar to deal with. Then I dusted it off and straightened some things and now it looks like this:

desk after

I feel like I have room to think now, and I have space to plan. Now, I just need to maintain this by having one thing out at a time, and putting it away when I’m done with it. The bonus was that it only took me about 20 minutes, I crossed some things off my to-do list, and when I had someone over for a meeting, my desk didn’t look so scary!

Give it a try and post your before and after pictures on Facebook or email them to me so I can celebrate your accomplishment!