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Our desk if we have one, can be our most valuable resource for being organized.  After all, it’s here that we attend to our paperwork and administrative tasks, here that we keep our computer, and in this area that we keep our filing and stationary.

What, you don’t have a desk?  Just a box of papers and the kitchen table or bench?  Just your laptop on the bed?  Just a corner with a table?

Well, it doesn’t matter where it is, but everyone needs a desk or a designate place where they can do their paperwork.  This is the place you open mail, do your filing, fill in forms, fill in your calendar or diary or planner, make phone calls, do stuff on the computer, write down your goals and plan your time. 

Keeping it all in one place is the first thing, and keeping that area tidy and organized so that it is most useful to you is the next thing.

So, all your kids’ school notices, all your mail, your diary, your notebooks, your computer, your pens, paper, calculator, scissors, stapler, envelopes, stamps etc, all go here.  Not some of it on the kitchen bench, some of it in the car, some in your bedroom.  All in one place. 

Like anything else, keeping an organized desk means an allocated place for everything.  All your filing filed, all your pens and pencils together, printer paper and writing paper together, a place where all incoming paperwork and mail lands and stays until it has been dealt with, a place where your children’s incoming art and school work lands and stays until it is dealt with, a place for your drink, a place for your glasses.  If possible you should have a phone on your desk.  This is often also a good place for a charging station if you have room, for your re-chargeable batteries and your mobile phone and your cameras.


If you don’t at least have a basic desk set up, why not set aside some time to do this for yourself.  Just think, you have to attend to all those little tasks regularly anyway.  Why not allocate a space for it where it will be as easy, convenient and comfortable as possible.  An old kitchen table from a second hand shop and a spare kitchen chair will do.  You also need somewhere for files, even if it’s cardboard boxes to begin with.  You also need drawers, or small boxes or baskets which can be lined up on a bookcase, shelf or extra table top space.  You will need shelves also. 

The ideal desk has everything within reach without getting out of your chair.  I’m amazed at the difference in my filing habits and my putting things away again habits when I have my desk area set up this way.  A filing cabinet right beside the desk and a bookcase at right angles to it forming a corner works perfectly for me.  I have no drawers at the moment, so there are baskets and boxes on the bookcase where I keep stationary that is not in daily use, spare paper, kids’ artwork and so on. 

On your desk, as in your bathroom, the only things to be kept out on the top permanently are things which are used daily.  The desk top should be as clear as possible.  If you have drawers, you can keep commonly used items in the top drawer to make the desk top even more clutter free.  The less stuff you have in sight, the less you will be distracted from whatever tasks you need to do when you sit down for your “desk time”.

Some little comfort items will make your desk a welcoming place for you.  A box of tissues, a drink, a vase with a flower if you don’t have small children and cats to knock it over, a favourite picture, your glasses, a small bowl of nuts or sweets, a waste paper basket, a hair clip.  I keep baby wipes here too, as there is often a child with a grubby face or fingers nearby, or a spill, and they’re great for cleaning and dusting my computer keyboard and the whole area generally.  You might even like to use aromatherapy here if you spend a lot of time like I do.

When you have found the perfect designated place for everything on your desk, the next stage is developing the habit of keeping everything in its designated place.  Incoming papers in one pile only, pens back in the pen jar, filing done regularly, all items which don’t belong here removed every time you get up and leave your desk.

Keeping items that don’t belong here off, is an ongoing struggle for me, as my family tend to dump anything which needs my attention here, or even anything that they’re not sure what to do with.  When they ask me where to put something, I’ll often say “on my desk”, as a way of deciding what to do with it later, or reminding myself to deal with it.  My desk can become one big “in tray”.  It sometimes has sewing on it (I claim not to sew, but I do have to do things like put buttons back on and ribbons on my daughters’ ballet shoes).  It often has items to be glued or repaired on it, like the latest torch (flashlight) pulled apart by my 3 year old boy.

When I get up from my desk after finishing this newsletter, I need to put away a tea cup, a plate, and a bottle of nail varnish.  This simple habit of removing anything that doesn’t belong here every time I get up, is what prevents the desk top from disappearing under mountains of clutter.  It will be a disaster if this isn’t done even for one day.

As well as keeping everything in its place, a large task in itself but an extremely valuable habit, developing good work habits is the next step to keeping your desk a happy place.  As with everything in your home and your life, your “desk time” tasks fall into categories of daily and weekly routines.  You must first admit and fully accept that some tasks, although boring, have been building up because you are not doing them frequently enough, and that incorporating them into your routine properly is what it will take to make them easier.

What are those “invisible” tasks for you?  Is it making decisions about what to do with your kids’ artwork that comes in daily from pre-school or school?  Is it your mail piling up?  Is it your kids’ school notices?  Is it papers from the committee you belong to?  If you don’t develop a habit of attending to these things regularly, they will just keep cluttering up your desk and getting you down.  Face up to it, and set aside a time that suits you.  Estimate how long you think you will need, whether it’s 15 minutes a day, or an hour a week.  If it’s a task you find boring, doing it daily is easier, in smaller chunks of time.

Lastly, keep your desk clean.  Give it a wipe down, empty your waste paper basket, change the flowers, refill the printer paper, vacuum your chair.  The little things like this show that you care about yourself enough to give yourself a pleasant place to work.

Your desk is one of several “stations” you have around the house.  Others are your kitchen sink, your bedside table, your bathroom cabinet, your washing machine area, and perhaps an armchair where you read or sew or do your hobbies.  Your car might be one too, mine is. 

Making these areas work for you by keeping them comfortable, efficient, well supplied and orderly makes your everyday life more pleasant, and is worth attention.  Do it for yourself.

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"I am grateful to Yvette for the changes that she has facilitated in me. I feel that my learning from Yvette will stay with me for the rest of my life, and has brought me to a brighter, positive more confident and happy place in my family and work life."

Anshula Ohri, Toronto,

"Before I met Yvette I had many opportunities in front of me but I was feeling overwhelmed and I had no confidence in making the decisions.  I was feeling stuck and confusedd.  My career has progressed in a positive direction and I am now functioning better in physical and emotional health.  Thank you Yvette for your help.  This was one of the best decisions I have ever made."


Sarah Grudzien,
Melbourne, Australia

"The coaching with Yvette was very beneficial. In just a few weeks I had achieved so much. I am so thankful. I found Yvette to be very patient, professional and reassuring. I would definately recommend NLP now that I have seen the difference it has made to my life. I have left the past in the past and I am happier within myself."

Western Australia

"Your belief in me gave me the confidence to work out ways of improvement, knowing how important it is that these answers be found by me within me to enable them to be so powerful and successful. I loved the CD you sent as your voice is so easy to listen to and reassuring as it imparts great words of wisdom and strengthens the concepts taught within your life coaching sessions. These life skills are amazing!"

Lynne from Lowood,
Queensland, Australia

"I consider myself very fortunate having chosen Yvette for coaching.  It has turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made. I started from a place where I was stuck in procrastination and everything seemed so overwhelming that I didn't really know where to start.  I love the freedom and empowerment I now feel.  Yvette's methods are personalised and very effective.  I have looked forward to every coaching sesssion."

Melbourne, Australia

"Yvette is a great coach who inspires you to overcome the obstacles that she finds in working with you.  She is highly motivated and has worked hard to increase her knowledge in many areas that in turn help her clients.  Yvette draws on her own real life experience adn studies to help those of us who have to juggle many responsibilities and mangage the conflicts in thinking that come from that.  I am looking forward to working with Yvette again in the near future"

Liz Jarvis, CSI Business Solutions, 
NSW, Australia

"Through my coaching experience with Yvette I was able to shift my awareness onto my value system as opposed to staring at my circumstances each day and feeling pulled in a hole.  It's powerful because I want meaning, I want to live up to my values and what's right and good for me!  So, I truly learned the value of letting go and receiving the abundance of knowledge for every situation that gives life, love and meaning to who I am and what I can do, with this fearless self awareness."

New York, USA

"Yvette.  Many thanks for a wonderful experience... Our sessions were productive, really interesting adn I so looked forward to them each week with anticipation of what I can learn about myself and my behaviours.  Every session seemed to flow right on topic of what was present in my relaity at the time and your effortless guiding of my strategies never ceased to amaze me.  I highly recommend you as a life coach and thank you again for the experience."

M Shears, 
Melbourne, Australia

"I really questioned my future career ambitions and thanks to Yvette I changed direction from something I felt I had to do, to something I know I will love to do.  I was stuck on this topic for quite some time and Yvette really helped me shed light on this.  I changed the MBA I signed up for and feel excited about my careeer and all the opportunities in the future."

Sabine Mascarenhas, 
Wollongong, Australia