I’ve got the perfect focused desk due to lockdown

Which research shows keeps me focused on the tasks at hand

Robert Drury


It’s easy to let your desk become the dumping ground for a whole host of non-essential things.

The collection of coffee cups and biscuits. Notepads galore and wires everywhere. Screens covered in post-it notes, and old magazines acting as mouse mats.

Photo by Daria Obymaha from Pexels

But research from the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute has shown, through the use of fMRI scans, that our brains like to be ordered, and that constant visual reminders of disorganization strain our brain and reduce our ability to focus.

They also found that when participants cleared their work space, they were better able to focus and process information, and their productivity increased.

Clutter has also been shown to affect our general mental health, making us feel stressed, anxious, or depressed, and if there’s one thing we’ve learned from 2020 is that we don’t need extra things making us feel stressed, anxious or depressed. W

With that in mind, and the fact that due to Covid restrictions I was now working from home at a desk in my bedroom, I have streamlined my desk.

1) A desk tidy with only the basis in it

This three slot desk tidy carries everything I need on and off during my working day, which includes:

  • Notepad, for meeting notes (as I take in the detail better if I write compared to typing up notes, plus I doodle)
  • Post-it notes (to highlight elements within my notepad)
  • Glasses cleaner (to keep my specs smudge free)
  • A little leather gadget for storing my headphones (to keep the bloody wires out of the way when I’m not using them)

2) A baseball stress ball

At a time when I’m having many hours of video meetings during the course of the day, I find it a challenge to keep focused on the screen.



Robert Drury

Helping people kick start their product management career with product coaching, job application prep, and product resources at gettingstartedinproduct.com