Does Your Desk or Office Make You Anxious? 6 Bite-Size Tips to Help You Feel More in Control

Julie Jones
This holiday season may not have provided the rest, rejuvenation, or reconnection that many desperately craved since COVID upended lives. Instead, the past month has been challenging for many, whether leading teams providing or supporting healthcare, covering shifts because employees are out with COVID, supply chain problems, employee vacancies, and holiday time off. The list is endless, and pressures mounted as the COVID omicron variant exploded. One healthcare foodservice director recently told me, “I’m just exhausted!” Since there has been little downtime for operations leaders, I’m sure that work and “stuff” have piled up as leaders battle the COVID work roller coaster -- the ride that never seems to end.

In honor of National Clean Your Desk Day on January 10th, try these simple tips to make your desk or office less overwhelming and give your spirits a much-needed boost:

1.       Add something fun to your space – anything that makes you happy! 

2.       Update a photo in your office – family, friends, pets, or a new vacation destination you can’t wait to visit. Pictures tell your story and add something personal to support you during crazy times.

3.       Host a donation collection to gather gently used desk or office items. Think about those unusual trinkets that tell their own story but take up desk or office space -- Someone will love your special something you no longer want or need.  

4.       Give yourself an email “break,” whether for 1 hour or 1 day. Create a list of 10 things you propose slashing to wrangle your email overload. For example, is there one thing you can do, such as unsubscribe from an automated email that you never read? Creating the list will be therapeutic, and who knows, a few of your ideas might stick for you and your team.

5.       Commit 3 to 5 minutes to sort, declutter, or remove physical or digital clutter holding you back. Reduce, reuse, or recycle. Taking positive action makes you feel more in control.

6.       Start a desk or office scavenger hunt event and give prizes for the most unique find, the oldest item found, or something worth sharing again! This activity introduces social connection and friendly competition for your group.

Progress is better than perfect – the goal for National Clean Your Desk Day isn’t the cleanest desk or office but one where you are comfortable, productive, and in control.

We are grateful for those who have supported, shown compassion, and provided stability for your teams and organizations. Our New Year’s wish for you is the time and space you need to exhale, regroup, and re-energize yourself and your team.