What’s man’s best friend (besides the dog)?
The wastebasket! – Business Week
Okay, listen up! Clear your desk…NOW! Despite what some people believe, a cluttered desk does not indicate genius. Au contraire! It signals confusion and creates stress. Even mini-clutter will grow and eventually fill every inch. Keep your desk clear of everything except your project du jour and your family picture.
Get rid of that paper! Shuffling and reshuffling paper from pile to pile or file to file wastes time and keeps you from focusing on what needs to get done. Find a gigantic wastebasket and fill it up. The larger the wastebasket, the more you will use it. Throwing things away then becomes an art. Enjoy!
Files should not be an obstacle course. Put your most often reviewed files at the front of the cabinet. Here is a test to see if your current filing system works. Within two minutes, can you retrieve any paper you need? Go. If you failed the test you are wasting time searching through your files.
Never clear off your desk by randomly throwing things in a drawer. Gotcha! You will eventually have to go through that drawer. Instead, create a logical system for storing these items in your desk
A picture or two on your desk is probably not distracting, but limit pictures to a special few. The more pictures on your desk, the more distractions and interruptions you invite.
Organize your desktop! If you are right-handed, make sure the phone is located on the left side of your desk. You want to keep the right side of the desk (and your right hand) free to take notes. Just the opposite for lefties.
Right-handed people should place the calculator on the right side of their desk. Ditto the above for southpaws, the proud but under-represented!
Avoid glass desktops. They glare and are hard to keep clean. You don’t need to spend valuable time wiping off fingerprints
If a report comes across your desk that you can’t use, notify the sender and ask to be deleted from distribution. The key question to ask is, “Would I pay for this report if I had to?” If not, get rid of it.
If you only use a few lines of a report, ask for a reformat, if possible. Four pages when you need four lines just doesn’t make sense — does it?
“If you want to make an easy job seem mighty hard, just keep putting off doing it.”