If you want to stay focused, keep your desk clear. Do others listen? Not always! It happens to the best of us. Picture this. You’re sitting at your desk, minding your own business. Then, suddenly one of your co-workers comes by and tries to put their stuff on it. Maybe they’re dropping off a report or asking you to cut costs. Whatever the case, it can be frustrating when you feel like your co-workers are constantly encroaching on your personal space. But don’t worry. You can do a few things to keep your desk clear and avoid feeling overwhelmed by other people’s stuff.
1. Be proactive and set boundaries from the start.
Is someone in the office prone to putting their stuff on your desk? Have a conversation with them about it. Explain that you prefer to keep your desk clear and ask them to respect your wishes. If they continue to put their stuff on your desk after you’ve asked them not to, you can talk to your boss or HR about setting up some boundaries.
2. Get a file organizer.
A file organizer is a great way to keep your things organized and make it less inviting for others to put their stuff on your desk. Invest in an excellent file organizer with labels, and people can put their papers in the file. This information sits in this category until you are ready to tackle the subject. No category? Perhaps it doesn’t belong to you, and they should go elsewhere. That way, when someone tries to put something on your desk, there’s a way to keep it organized out of your immediate work surface.
3. Don’t be afraid to say no.
Sometimes the best way to keep your desk clear is simply by saying no when someone tries to put their stuff on it. It can be uncomfortable initially, but standing up for yourself will convey that you will not tolerate having your personal space invaded. Plus, it’ll make it easier for you to say no the next time someone tries to put their stuff on your desk.
Annoying co-workers who try to put their stuff on your desk can be a real pain, but there are steps you can take to avoid feeling overwhelmed by other people’s stuff. By being proactive and setting boundaries from the start, getting a desk organizer, and saying no when necessary, you can keep your desk clear and maintain control of your personal space. Would you like to talk about this and more about protecting your boundaries? Please apply for a free consultation here.
Janet Johnson is a small business advisor and author of My Money Pivot: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Finding & Making More Money and this educational blog. All views expressed belong solely to Ms. Johnson and do not represent the views of her employer.