Almost every week I put “handle desk” on my daily “to do” list; and every week it needs to be there because I ignore it until I can’t find a thing. Monday, January 13, “Clean off your desk day,” rattled me because I didn’t know it existed.

I crave order and my desk is sometimes reflective of that, other times not. Closets, drawers, and shelves don’t stand a chance when Cynthia Ann, the organizer, is around; however, my beautiful rolltop desk at home and my nice oak one at work offer a different challenge. What I have, what I need, and where to find it are almost always at war, so today I’m on a mission to become an official clean-desk person.

Allbusiness.com said the average desk worker has 36 hours’ worth of work on their desk at any one time and may waste up to three hours searching for what they need. If that wasn’t inspiration enough to clean off my desk, I considered this gross and scary fact from servicemasterclean.com: “Your desk has about 400 times the number of bacteria as a toilet seat… and your computer keyboard is one of the top five most germ-contaminated spots in the office, including the shared microwave.”

In my heart I knew it was probably true so I’m taking everything off my desk, including the phone, and wiping it down with disinfectant.

Experts also say a better organized desk offers better productivity, efficiency, a brighter attitude, and lessens stress. They urge a keep, file/scan, and toss pile. If it’s nonessential, shred or toss it and if it’s valuable and needs to be filed or scanned, they say do it now. Check your pens—if they didn’t write last week, they probably won’t this week. Put them out of your misery.

Use the five-minute rule. Before you leave, take five minutes and straighten, remove, tidy—and there’s no opportunity for “stuff” to accumulate. Prepare your “To Do” list and get your tomorrow off to a great start.

If you don’t have a desk or you’re retired and don’t give a flying flip, never mind this great advice, but I suspect there’s still somewhere that needs decluttering or just plain ol’ cleaning off. Pretend it’s the second Monday in January and just do it!

As the holiday commemorating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King approaches, I pray you will pause and reflect on its significance. At this point it doesn’t really matter whether you support(ed) his ideals or thought he was a rabble rouser and agitator—what matters now is that we need you to step up and help fix what’s broken. In other words—”do your part.”

Dr. King could have chosen to live a well-heeled life and not worry about sanitation workers, the poor, or their plight. He was well educated, with a beautiful wife and children, parents who were proud of him—everything. He could have lived at the corner of Easy Street and Ain’t My Business Today Avenue, but he answered a call from God to move forward and make/be the difference.

My friends, Martin answered his call but we each have one and justice and mercy will prevail when we stand up and speak out for those who can’t. Peace will flourish when we stop rattling our sabers and devote our efforts to peacemaking. Our brothers and sisters will stop dying in the streets from hopelessness, poor health, addiction, and suicide when we remember we are their keepers.  Let us be bold, courageous, and prophetic today. For Martin’s sake.  For righteousness sake.

How do you plan to clean up your desk and your community? Share with me at #drbondhopson on Twitter and Facebook!

Looking for inspiration, empowerment, uplift, straight talk, an encouraging word to brighten your day? You’ve arrived! Meet Dr. Cynthia Ann Bond Hopson, best-selling author, educator, inspirational speaker, sistergirl–she’s all that and more. All the way from Stanton, TN (you can’t get there from here) to 50 states, six continents and everything in between, she’s wise, witty and altogether wonderful. She enthusiastically invites you to slow down, sit a spell, and share a giggle or two.

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