At the end of last week's podcast, John set me the challenge of sorting out the mess in my desk drawer. Well, it certainly needed doing - like many people, it had become a bit of a dumping space for whenever I've had visitors to the office. Just look at all the rubbish I've accumulated!
The first thing was to get all of this out, and figure out what I actually needed to keep. What were the things that I actually use? These items were:
- Stapler & remover & spare staples
- Paper knife
- 12" Rule
- iPod accessories
- Phone case & belt clip
- External HDD for doing my weekly backups
Everything else should probably either go in the bin, or be taken off to where it should have been in the first place. I then put a clean sheet of paper in the bottom of the drawer as a liner, and laid everything out on it. Once I got a layout that made sense (putting similar items together, and the more frequenlty used items in the lower right quadrant), I drew round everything & labelled the shadows.
Finally, I put everything back in the drawer. The result's much tidier, but more importantly, it's likely to stay that way:
- The effort of doing this has reminded me how much inefficiency stemming from disorganisation we put up with.
- I now have a clear mental image of where everything goes. Even before I open the drawer, I can see what I want, and where it should be.
- If I put something extra in there, it'll stand out like a sore thumb.
- If someone borrows something, they'll know where to put it back.
- If the borrower 'forgets' to put it back, I'll see straight away.