office table
When the office table harbours a multitude of unarranged items, productive time is wasted tracing the required ones. Photo / Business Today

The office table is the most conspicuous place of the work station. It acts as a status symbol of the person behind it and the power they wield in the organization. But some office tables are so messy that one begins to have second thoughts about the office holder.

The messy office table can be de-cluttered using some of the following ways to regain its symbol at the office.

Don’t Procrastinate: Although using emails for written communication has reduced paper work in offices, still some correspondence is delivered in hard copy documents. When one does not take action on documents, they may pile up in a haphazard manner on the table regardless of the “in, pending and out” trays.

Without proper arrangement of documents on the office desk trays, one could waste time ploughing through piles of documents. To clear one’s table of action-pending documents, don’t procrastinate on executing today’s matters because tomorrow’s could be unmanageable.

 Improve Work Habits: Some office employees have developed poor work habits such as clogging the table with unnecessary documents and items that impede task execution.

Factory workers are encouraged to clear the production floor and line before and after the manufacturing process to save time for other tasks. Office executives should, before embarking on a particular work assignment, clear the tables to remain with the required items only.

Dispose Expired Documents: On a personal level some people compulsively keep things such as supermarket payment receipts or air travel tickets whose use is over. Others dispose of such items as soon as possible from wherever they are shortly kept.

Personal habits of keeping or disposing of things are easily transferred to the office arena to breed into accumulation of pile of long expired documents. 

Since papers constitute much of the table and drawers clutter, one should make a routine of disposing of those done with at the end of each working day. One CEO in the banking industry was known to shred all unwanted documents before leaving the office at close of business.

If time is not available for immediate disposal, one should store the useless papers in the drawers to routinely dispose them of once a week or a month.   

 Prioritize Work Tasks: One of the causes of laying out many documents all over the office table is wishing to act on them without prioritization. Some office workers want to see the unarranged papers with stickers as a reminder for taking action.

For one to get out of documents overload on the table, he or she should prioritize work tasks depending on the level of urgency and impact on the overall work allocated.

Place Items at Known Positions: When the office table harbours a multitude of unarranged items, productive time is wasted tracing the required ones e.g. pair of scissors. One should reserve a known position for each office item for easy access when required.

 Samson Osero is a Human Resource Development (HRD) Consultant. Email: [email protected]

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About the Author

Samson Osero is Human Resource Development Consultant who contributes to businesstoday website. My personal email is: [email protected]

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