“Happiness is a very small desk and a very big wastebasket”
Robert Orben, Magician and Comedy Writer
Do you want to find out where you stand in personal productivity according to your desk? Take the following Desktop Clutter Test compliments of my colleague Harold Taylor, Time Consultant — https://www.taylorintime.com/.
_____ Most of the paperwork on my desk is stacked horizontally.
_____ My in-basket is on my desk.
_____ My telephone is on my desk.
_____ I spend at least ten minutes most days looking for things on my desk.
_____ There is a stack of magazines or other reading material on my desk most of the time.
_____ Other people are reluctant to leave paperwork on my desk for fear it might get lost.
_____ At least one person during the past week left something on my chair or on top of a project I was working on so I’d be sure to see it.
_____ It is difficult for other people to find a document on my desk if I’m not there.
_____ At any one time there are at least three unfinished projects lying on my desk.
_____ My desk is usually messy when I leave at night.
_____ In addition to paperwork, I keep at least five other items on my desk [e.g.: stapler, pencil caddie, paperclip holder, calendar, rubber bands, tape, ink stamp, cup, bookends, photographs, books].
_____ During most of the day you can see very little of my desk top – over 75 percent is covered with files, paperwork.
_____ Some days I have paper arranged on the floor adjacent to my desk while working.
_____ I have more than one “junk drawer” in my desk.
_____ A ledge under my desk, a window sill or the top of a filing cabinet is being used to store paperwork, at least temporarily.
_____ During a typical week, several people comment on the state of my desk top.
_____ There is not enough room in my filing cabinet to house the paperwork on my desk.
_____ Every week, at least two people ask me about the status of a memo or report that has been given to me for action.
_____ I make notes on scraps of paper which frequently get lost or misplaced.
_____ I sometimes move to another desk or table so I’ll have room to work.
Add up your score: _________
0 – 4 ~ You are above average in your organizing skills, and are probably experiencing a high level of productivity.
5 – 10 ~ You will never win a “messiest desk” award, but your personal productivity is likely being hampered.
11 – 15 ~ Chances are, you are spending a lot of time searching for things, shuffling paper, and becoming distracted. Your productivity is suffering as a result.
16 – 20 ~ Your desk is a conversation piece and is affecting other people’s productivity as well. Take action before it’s declared a disaster area.