04/06/2014 11:00 BST | Updated 05/06/2014 10:59 BST

Detox Your Work Space: 9 Things On Your Desk You Should Throw Out Now

Considering our work space is our home away from home, we really should be paying attention to how we organise it, especially as cluttered desks are known to use up energy, reduce efficiency and cause unnecessary stress.

Even if your workspace is a tiny cubicle or a work-from-home fold-out desk that's part of your living room, you can still organise it in such a way to maximise productive workflow, which starts with your approach to work in general.

"Start by changing your mindset from the holy grail of multitasking to mono-tasking," explains productivity expert Graham Allcott, author of How To Be a Productivity Ninja and managing director of Think Productive, which runs productivity workshops (including ones at people's desks).

detox your work space

"Focus on one thing at a time until its natural conclusion point (the end of a report chapter, for example), or until it’s done and only have items on your desk that relate to that one thing."

Having lots of clutter and other bits of work on your desk is distracting, so even though we're used to the multitasking mentality, it affects our concentration and leads us to quickly refocus from one thing to another.

The key to getting your work space organised? Allcott recommends having a place-holder, drawer or in-tray where new information should land, even if you're pressed for space (just allocate a corner of the desk to hold new paperwork, mail, receipts and more). Otherwise, you're at risk of turning your whole desk into an in-tray.

"You then change the relationship with new information by saying those things are in a pile and I will get to them but I don’t need to think about them until they happen," says Allcott.

He also cites that while everyone is different in how they work and process information, one issue he often comes across is that often people feel stressed when new information lands on their desks and they don't have a file for it or anywhere to put it.


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"Those moments of stress are indicative that there’s something wrong in your workflow, and it might just be as simple as you don’t have a folder or supplies. There are lots of different ways of fixing that so it's important to get into the habit of asking why it is you're feeling stressed."

Detox your work space with a bit of spring cleaning and don't miss our gallery below on nine things on your desk that you should throw out now.

What have you done to make work wonderful? Share your stories on Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #makeworkwonderful

Detox Your Work Space: 9 Things On Your Desk You Should Throw Out