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Clear out boss’s ‘unfinished business’

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in Office Management

Your boss's desk stands awash in paper and her bookcase is bursting, but she may not even realize that the clutter is distracting her.

All those items lying around represent unfinished business, says organization consultant Laura Leist. “Having a system and a place to put things in an office will help minimize the distractions and eliminate extra stress,” she says.

Help a messy boss declutter her office — and boost your productivity — with these simple tools:

Magazine holders. Use them to store directories, software manuals, folders, user guides, packages of computer paper. Minimize distraction by positioning them on shelves with the back of the holder showing.

Binders. Three-hole-punch newsletters and store them in order; purchase clear sleeves for storing software disks within binders.

Tray or basket. Use for storing “to be filed” papers.

Folder or container. Put receipts, names, phone numbers and other bits of information in one place so they don’t end up scattered on a desk before they’re stored somewhere more permanent.

Bookshelves. Group books by category. And instead of standing them all upright, try laying groups of books flat and stacked on top of each other.

“Bookshelves don’t need to be full of books from one end to the other,” says Leist. “In between the groups, you can display a photo or other treasure to break up the sections a bit.”

Not sure where to begin? “Just pick one small area to start decluttering — and complete that area,” says Leist. “You’ll have a wonderful feeling of accomplishment, and then you can move on to other areas of the office.”

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