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September 26, 2023

How to Layout Your Desk to Minimise Stress and Boost Productivity

A well-organised workspace is more than just an aesthetic preference; it can genuinely enhance your productivity and mental well-being. How many times have you felt the creeping frustration from not finding a document or the mental drain from a cluttered, disorganized desk? It’s time to address the layout of your desk. With a few strategic changes, you can transform your workspace into a sanctuary of productivity and peace.


Before diving into reorganisation, clear everything off your desk. It’s easier to visualize and plan your ideal workspace from a blank canvas. As you remove items, decide whether they belong on your desk, should be stored elsewhere, or can be discarded.

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Your health and comfort are crucial. Here’s how to set up your desk ergonomically:

  • Monitor: It should be at arm’s length away, with the top of the screen approximately at or slightly below eye level. This setup ensures you don’t strain your neck or eyes.

  • Keyboard and Mouse: They should be accessible such that your arms form an angle between 90° and 110°. Consider wrist rests to avoid strain.

  • Chair and Posture: Ensure your chair supports the natural curve of your spine. Your feet should rest flat on the ground, with knees approximately at hip level.


Divide your desk into zones:

  • Primary Zone: This is the area you can reach easily without stretching—reserve this space for items you use daily like your computer, keyboard, mouse, and perhaps a notepad.

  • Secondary Zone: Slightly harder to reach, this space is for items you use occasionally. Think of desk organizers, sticky notes, and perhaps a charging dock.

  • Tertiary Zone: The furthest reach, suitable for items you rarely use but want nearby, like reference materials or decorative items.


Do you really need 20 pens? Probably not. Keep a few essentials and store the rest. Adopting a minimalist approach doesn’t mean stripping your desk bare but choosing quality over quantity. Invest in multifunctional tools, like a pen that doubles as a stylus, or a lamp with built-in wireless charging.


If desk real estate is scarce, look upwards! Vertical storage solutions, like wall-mounted shelves or pegboards, can be game-changers. They can hold stationery, plants, or artwork, reducing clutter on the desk surface.


A tangle of cables can be a major eyesore and stress-inducing. Use cable clips, sleeves, or under-desk trays to manage and hide cables. This simple change can make your workspace look neater and more streamlined.


Personal items can motivate and reduce stress. However, choose wisely. A photo frame, a motivational quote, or a small plant can make your space feel more “you” without adding clutter. Plants, in particular, are excellent for improving air quality and overall mood.


End your workday with a clean desk. Allocate 5-10 minutes to tidy up, file away papers, and reset for the next day. This ritual ensures you start each day fresh, reducing the cognitive burden of handling yesterday’s mess.


Desk organisation is not just about decluttering; it’s a holistic approach to create a space that aligns with your workflow, reduces stress, and boosts productivity. By considering ergonomics, adopting zoning, and personalising with purpose, you can transform your desk into a powerful ally in your daily endeavours. Embrace these changes and enjoy the serenity and efficiency of your newly optimised workspace.

Yours in Health & Wellness,

Coach Andrew

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