It's possible to have a messy desk and still know which pile holds what. But it's definitely more difficult to think clearly if you're surrounded by clutter.
Think of your desk as an extension of your brain. Clear the decks of all that extra "stuff" so you can make room for bigger, more thought-provoking projects.
Here's how to bring order to an out-of-control desk and assess your workload:
- Throw loose papers into a giant inbox and sort through them one by one.
- Transfer any date-sensitive items to your calendar.
- Seek out any action items and put them on one long list.
- Decide what to do with something that requires no action now. There are three possibilities: Trash it, place it in a tickler file for action later or file it away for reference information.
Now, you'll have a complete picture of your commitments.