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The secret to an organised, productive workspace

Monday, 10 February 2014 | By Taskmaster

One of your humble correspondent’s pet peeves is a messy workspace. Seriously, how on Earth do you ever get anything done if you can’t see the surface of your desk?!


For most people, you could get away with doing your job quite comfortably with just a PC, a phone, a filing cabinet (or set of tidy trays) and a pen. If you really want to get extravagant, maybe a tissue box, a set of headphones and a mug. That’s it.


Now, looking around Taskmaster Towers, some people clearly can’t seem to manage the art of a clean desk. Some opt to stack their desk high with trinkets, photos, post-it notes, piles of paper, magazines, old newspapers, phone books, printouts, computer equipment, cables, enough pharmaceuticals to stock a small pharmacy, frames with photos of children or pets, promotional materials, books, stuffed animals and all manner of other paraphernalia.


These hoarders are typically amazed at how Old Taskmaster can maintain a clear workspace. They want to know the secret.


So, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, hoarders of all ages, finally revealed to you all, the golden secret to a clean desk.


Accept less junk.


Yes, Sonny Jim Crockett, it’s really that simple: Accept. Less. Junk.


For example, consider those books and promotional materials they give you at conferences. Do you really want a Telstra sticker? Are you really going to sit by the fireplace and read a book on business comms by IBM? If not, don’t claim it!


I’ll bet $100 you’re not about to go vegetarian, shave your head and move to an Ashram where you’ll spend your days meditating about Lord Krishna, now are you? So why are you taking leaflets from those Hare Krishnas?!


Likewise, you probably can’t be stuffed protesting whatever supposed “atrocity” Tony Abbott is being accused of this week. Even if you did, it wouldn’t make a shred of difference to government policy. Now, what that dole-bludging uni student (who still lives at home off his or her parents) handing out leaflets isn’t telling you is they’re from a Marxist front group – and they hate ‘capitalists’ like you! Well, entrepreneurs of the world unite – and say no to their worthless leaflets!


Similarly, do you really give a stuff if no one cares about the fashionable cause of the week? Or whether an animal you’ve never seen in the wild is endangered? Really?! Will you lose a moment’s sleep if the Patagonian Tooth Fish goes extinct?! Will you even notice?! Honestly, those hippie greenies could save themselves a rainforest by printing fewer pamphlets – and you can help them in their cause by not claiming one!


Same deal with menus from restaurants and fast food joints. Frankly, if they don’t have a decent, SEO optimised website listing their menu and prices by now, they don’t deserve your business! And if you look up their menu online, you don’t need their leaflet!


But what about the people handing out discount vouchers? Well, here’s a way to save even more money than you would if you bothered to use that 20% off voucher from the cafe downstairs: It’s called brining your own cut lunch from home! Forget about saving 20%, you’ll save 80%!


And seriously, if their coffee were any good, they’d be selling it at full price, rather than at 20% off, now wouldn’t they?!


Finally, there’s the awkward situation where a really pushy person somehow forces and shoves their propaganda into your hand as you’re walking to get a coffee. The solution is incredibly simple: Toss it in the bin. If their information was so important to you, you would have already found it for yourself on Google!


So accept less junk. Your desk will look cleaner, you will work more productively and the world will be a better place for all.


Get it done – today!