Public Affairs Ireland | Training and Development | Conferences

Paula Butler 

One of the first things I tackled on my journey to a more minimalist and ecoconscious lifestyle, was my workspace. I work from home and my office was overrun with piles of paper, pens, notepads, etc. and it was a source of stress for me whenever I sat down to work. Personally, I find it difficult to think clearly in a messy environment and I am much more productive when my space is organised and calm.

Here are 3 good reasons why it’s worth making the time to declutter your desk:

  • An untidy desk suggests an untidy mind and does not inspire confidence in others
  • An organised workspace will help you feel more in control and will save you time
  • A tidy workspace helps calm the mind and inspires creativity

The following are my top 10 tips on decluttering and organising your workspace:

  1. Set aside 1 hour to start this process – it’s less daunting and once you see the results it will inspire you to complete the task. You’ll be surprised what you can achieve in 1 hour!
  2. Empty your desk completely, yes even your “junk drawer”
  3. Give your desk a good clean once everything is out
  4. Go through each item and ask yourself if you really, really use it and need it
  5. If you decide you need it, then designate a specific home for it
  6. Keep only the things you really need and use every day out on your desk (in my case 1 pen, 1 notepad, 1 stapler, 1 paper punch, 1 sticky pad and 1 highlighter pen)
  7. Set limits on the number items you will keep e.g. 1 stapler, 1 box of spare staples, etc.
  8. Designate a place keep your personal items e.g. coat, bag, gym gear. Don’t keep them around or under your desk and preferably store them in a cupboard out of sight.
  9. Designate one basket/filing tray for short term storage. Once it has reached capacity, that’s your trigger to clear it out.
  10. Regularly clean your desk using non-toxic, biodegradable or reusable wipes

Paula Butler will speak at PAI’s Corporate Wellbeing Breakfast Briefing, for more information on this event, click here

Paula Butler is an environmental consultant with over 20 years’ experience. She holds an Honours Degree in Natural Science from Trinity College Dublin and a Masters in Environmental Management from Aberdeen University, Scotland. Paula was appointed by the Minister for the Environment to sit on the Admissions Board for the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) from 2009 to 2015. Paula established her own environmental consultancy practice in 2014 and as part of this has been delivering training to the Government on Climate Change and Climate Finance through Public Affairs Ireland (PAI).