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December 18, 2013:
Mark your calendar, assuming you can find it on that mound of papers you call a desk. Do you have 24 cats living in there too?

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Holiday Origin:

NCOYDD has its roots in Sumerian times when scribes had to chip dried clay from the flattened rocks they used as work stations, and arrange the cuneiform styluses (stylii?) neatly following the Feast of Isis, who once had to team up with Shazam for some reason I can't remember.

Today is the day you will clean off your desk!

Is one of your new year's resolutions to be more organized? Start right away!

Clean Off Your Desk DayIn 2014, January 13th is Clean Off Your Desk Day, and studies have shown that a cleaner desktop can lead to less working stress, but only if you are organizing the space you have in order to make it more efficient. Despite the myth of the paperless office, desks are generally cluttered with up to a dozen action items from various bosses and principals in your company, all of whom want something that might be in the pile on your desk. However, your home office might also be a mess of bills, things to go through, and other material that needs your attention. By settling on a good desk cleaning strategy, you can reduce the stress by simpling handling all of the tasks you have.

Better yet, cleaning off your desk might be the perfect excuse to go electronic. For example, there are services like Mint.com and other sites that help you organize your personal finances, pay bills, and keep things from clogging up your valuable space. If you can still pay bills on time, and not get them in the mail, you are taking a little bit of stress out of your life. Even though you may only be saving a couple of minutes on each task, the added bulk of "things to do" can become overwhelming, so a little bit of time taken now can save you lots of aggravation later.

At work, cleaning off your desk can also give you an excuse to ask yourself "how can I keep things like this off my desk permanently?" For example, if you find a way to delegate tasks, automate them, or find ways of making someone else more efficient, you may not have to spend time obesessing over details of projects and get things done faster. Sometimes, teamwork is the key to keeping your desk less cluttered, and making your neighbor's desk cleaner at the same time. In some cases a few impromptu meetings over what things you each are doing can create strategies for consolidating work, trading tasks, or clearing out your inbox faster. Most often, desks may not be clean because there is a lack of software training, so suggesting companywide classes in popular desktop programs can make you seem like a go-getter, then maybe you'll get one of those executive positions where your desk is always clean because you have an assistant.

If you really want to get a jump on the festivities, which happen a mere week in advance of the Most Depressing Day Of The Year then stock up on the desk cleaning wipes. Assuming that there isn't a camera every 6 feet in your office, like there is in mine, and I am not even a blackjack dealer, then you could make the effort more fun by sneaking a few "inappropriate" publications into the stack of papers on a messy person's desk. The inevitable cleanoff may be good fodder for laughs or a lawsuit.

Notes and Special Information

Special note: Right around this time a few years ago, I was given a box and told to clean "out" my desk, which is nowhere near as fun as cleaning it off, especially since I had just cleaned the surface of the desk by putting things into drawers.