There should be an image here!Gnomie Alex Wacker of Wackertech.com writes:

Hey Chris,

I have a very clean and organized desk and thought I would share with the community some of the tips and guidelines I have followed to keep my desk looking great to further increase productivity!

Number 1: Hide Those cords!
Nothing is more annoying than moving cords around all of the time! Try using twist-ties or coil your cords up and place them either behind or off to the side of your desk. If it is an iPod syncing cable, you could also purchase a dock or make one yourself!

Number 2: Only keep on your desk what you need!
This is very important one in my opinion. So many times I see people’s offices or work spaces with action figures laying around, a plethora of writing utensils, etc. First take everything off of your desk and out of your drawers and put it all together in a big pile. Sort through what is garbage and what is truly needed throughout a work day.

Number 3: Get rid of random pieces of paper and sticky notes!
Let’s face it: nobody uses sticky notes anymore! Download a widget or application for either Mac OS X or Windows for taking notes. If you still prefer the tangible paper to take notes, take the time and condense all of your notes into one notebook and use this instead.

Number 4: Put it away!
When you are in the process of working on a specific project and decide you want to work on something else, don’t leave it laying on the desk — put it away! Then take out the next task to do.

Number 5: Wireless Devices
My desk has no more then 4 cords, which are nicely hidden thanks to my desk. I accomplished this by purchasing a wireless keyboard and mouse. If you have a smaller desk, this could be extremely useful. When you aren’t using your keyboard or mouse and you want to work on something else, you can simply pick these devices up and move them off of your desk (which would be very hard to do with wired devices).

Number 6: Limit your paper usage
If you can, go paperless and start using your computer more to file documents rather than printing documents and then filing them.

Number 7: Throw it away!
If it’s nearby, you will use it more. Regularly throw away or recycle broken pens, pencils, scrap paper, and all of those things that so many people hang on to for no good reason.

Number 8: Just say no!
Yes, it is hard to resist the ugly free crap at conferences and office events, but avoid taking them just because they are free. This includes all of those cheap pens, stickers, magazines, brochures, postcards, and anything else that will just end up sitting on your desk. If you need a reminder of a particular vendor, bring your laptop or iPad and copy down the company’s name and URL.

Number 9: Eat away from your desk.
Eating at your desk encourages trash like paper bags, cups, and utensils to stick around on your desk. I personally am guilty of this and have the crumbs in my keyboard to prove it! Just set up outside of the office to eat — this also allows a breath of fresh air after a long day!

Number 10: Set up a date!
Every week set a specific day and time that you will clean off and organize your desk. This way your desk will always be looking great.

I hope this list was helpful in some way!

[Photo above by Andrea Mitrani / CC BY-ND 2.0]