Jan 092012
Per Thomas MacEntee at Geneabloggers today is National Clean Off Your Desk Day (as well as Coming of Age Day (Japan),  Plough Monday (UK), Wolf Moon.)

It is an interesting idea especially as so many of the 2012 Goals (much better word than Resolutions!) I have seen have related to “becoming more organised”

There are a number of schools of thought on how empty a desk needs to be for you to be able to work effectively.  I have friends who have a perfectly clear desk, they have only one item at a time out and for them this works.
I am not one of these. I tend to work on multiple projects and I have multiple things on my desk at any one time and this works for me.

I also don’t believe that the extremely full  desk below is the ideal working environment for anybody….

Incidentally this is not my desk, I stole (borrowed) this image a number of years ago and unfortunately I can’t remember where I acquired it from).

But it is definitely time to do something when the Paper Pile Monsters take
over and you need a chair and whip ready before you enter a room. Or when you have a dej-vu moment when you realise you have three copies of that certificate or book….

(Paper Pile Monsters is a term I came across used by Juliana Smith who has written many columns on organising and many other topics available at Ancestry. She is an excellent columnist.)

Because I have many project on the go and because I am not one of the people who get a major thrill out of filing, it tends to be somewhere down my list of priorities. Unfortunately it doesn’t take long for the paper pile monsters to breed so doing filing on a regular basis is a necessity.

For me it is a bit like being a child and eating those vegetables you didn’t like, the only way to get around this is to make it a bite size, time-limited job. So my high-tech tool of choice?

We can all do something, no matter how much we dislike it, if it is time-limited. So twenty minutes intensive filing, reshelving and general tidying then I reward myself with some genealogy internet searching (also unfortunately using the timer!)

What suits one person won’t suit everybody but between us, I am sure we can come up with lots of different ideas that each of us can look at, try and see if that works for us.

So I’d be very interested in knowing what tips, tools and tricks you use to stay/become organised?

  3 Responses to “National Clean Off Your Desk Day”

  1. Gosh, did I need this post. I go through stages with my desk (which is really a table used for all kinds of activities). I can often keep it fairly clean but it always eventually and gradually gets piled up. Seems like I run out of time to do whatever I need to with the papers or other things on the table. If it were just filing the paper or putting away the other things, it would be easy, but I usually have to do something with the paper before putting (or throwing) it away. Tomorrow I will clean off my table! Thanks for the encouraging post (and for me, the reminder).

  2. I'm glad I was out of town on Clean up your desk day! Mine isn't anything like as bad as the one pictured but there are several jobs "in progress". Beside my lounge chair also has a build-up as I work through different tasks. my solution is frenetic bursts when it drives me nuts. My husband on the other hand is a one task on the desk kind of person. Oh well it takes all sorts!

  3. I agree, I tend to have a number of things on the go so my desk can be messy but it works for me but does drive a friend at work who is an obsessive neat freak nuts!

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