If you are like me, you broke out in hives looking at the above picture. I am, by no means, a super organized person. I have my piles and I know where stuff is in them. But THAT?!? THAT is insanity. If I had to come in and look at that every day, I think I’d just spend all day crying at my desk.
A messy desk can distract you from tasks at hand and make you lose your focus. Follow these tips to keep clutter to a minimum and productivity high.
- Work from the inside out. Put your to-do pile on the side of your desk farthest from your office door and place completed items, such as finished reports and signed forms, on the side closest to the door. That way, when you get up you can take the finished work and drop it off where it needs to go, such as the mail bin or filing cabinet.
- Make a “Work in Progress” folder. Need an answer from someone before you can file a paper or mark an item off your to-do list? Keep these items together in a separate file. Use a Pendaflex folder or file sorter to keep these stragglers organized.
- File papers in a timely manner. Keep a “Ready to File” folder or bin for papers to be filed. Choose a set time – either daily or weekly – to do all of your filing. That way you aren’t wasting time by running to the filing cabinet every 15 minutes.
- Stay on top of your mail. Toss junk and catalogs immediately. Sort the rest into three categories: immediate action, follow-up, and file. Put mail requiring immediate action into your to-do pile. Put mail requiring follow-up into your “Work in Progress” folder. Put items to file in your “Ready to File” folder.
- Take advantage of wall space. Use bulletin boards to hold items you need to refer to often, such as calendars, phone lists or other contact information, and memos.
There, isn’t this much better?