Detox your Desk

27 January 2015

At this time of year we all tend to take a step back, reassess our lives and make lots of promises about how we will strive to be a better person. Most of these changes tend to centre around our health regime and are mostly destined for failure, as the standards we set are usually fairly unachievable. So this year why not place your focus elsewhere and change the way that you approach your working life, starting with detoxing your desk.

Just as the kitchen is said to be the heart of one’s home, your desk is at the heart of your working life – and for most of us where we spend the majority of our time, after our beds. A messy desk is not just restricting your space, cluttering your mind and cramping your style – it’s not a good impression to make on seniors and colleagues – it’s also sapping your energy, reducing efficiency and causing you unnecessary stress.

By starting with detoxifying your desk you will then have space in your mind to extend this focus to other elements of your working life. Theo Theobald, author and life coach, suggests a detox programme that is all about small changes over a 10 day period.


Ten-step detox

1. Clear the clutter. Instead of incrementally sorting through your drawers and desktop, start by dumping the lot somewhere else and only allowing the important things back.

2. Wipe as you go. Once the decks are cleared, keep them that way by reserving your desktop for live work, not pending.

3. Hydrate. Being dehydrated stops you concentrating. Once you've got a clear desk space, you can make room for a glass of water to keep sipping on; remember a little and often is the key.

4. Stop! Stop doing the things that don't matter and you'll have more time to work on the things that do.

5. Set your own standards. Organisational culture and peer pressure might turn you into a sheep. Be your own person.

6. Make a change a day and you'll get into the swing of accepting that the status quo never remains for long.

7. Stop self-sabotaging. You're the one who makes the work spin out to fit the time. Desist.

8. Volunteer for extra. Help someone else out and you'll find that you reap what you sow.

9. Curb your fear of success.

10. Do the daunting. Putting off tasks you hate takes more time and energy, than it would to get stuck in.


· Detox Your Desk: Declutter Your Life and Mind, by Theo Theobald and Cary Cooper, available on Amazon.