We’ve all been there…you take a few hours to organize your desk and then it’s a mess again within a few days. This type of experience only gives people an excuse not to be organized; they argue that it takes too long to stay organized and that it won’t make a difference to their productivity anyway. But research shows that nothing could be further from the truth.
As a matter of fact most people underestimate the effect of working in an ‘intentional environment’ where everything present supports your current effort. Barbara Hemphill, an ‘organizing consultant,’ estimates that 80% of the documents and items we keep never get used.
All of this stuff piles up and leads to procrastination. If you get rid of the clutter, you can think more clearly and have the time to be more creative. Most people work best with a completely clear work space, but are bombarded with paperwork, proposals, notes, hardware, disks, and other items piled high by the day’s end. Being organized requires a daily ritual of sorting and stowing your pile of stuff every day.
Not only will this improve your productivity, but it will polish your professional image. The last thing you want a client to see on your desk is clutter and chaos because it will give them the impression you are out of control and incompetent. So how can you clean up your act and start being more organized? Professional organizer, Greg Vetter, of Vetter Productivity offers these tips:
- Keep A Clear Desk – Only keep bare essentials on the desk and stow, file, or throw away everything else.
- Use Technology – Use tech gadgets to make life easier (i.e. PDA, label printer for organization, business card scanner, tablet PC, etc.)
- Keep An Electronic Calendar – Don’t keep an extra paper one on your desk; train yourself to go “paperless” and you’ll not only be less cluttered, but you’ll help save the environment!
- Document Imaging – Scan important documents and shred the paper; you’ll find files faster, save on desk and storage space, and never have to worry about losing a paper document to mishandling, fire, flood, etc.
- Purge Reference Files – Create reference files to support your work; just make sure you purge these files annually around the holidays.
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