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Fight clutter with an ‘action corner’

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One admin reader writes: “I have a new boss and she is so disorganized. She has piles and piles of papers and complains that she can never find anything. How do I get her to organize her desk?”

Keeping the disorganized organized is one of the great gifts of a strong assistant. Rather than trying to “convert” a slob, though, start with a baby step: Encourage her to create an “action corner” on her desk.

What to put in it: paperwork related to immediate tasks, notes she’s taken from a phone conversation, a follow-up she wants to mark in your calendar or a business card she needs to enter into her address file. Any sort of “in-progress” items that will clutter up her desk if she doesn’t have a system for them.

Before the end of the day, you and she can sift through the items in her action corner and take the appropriate actions.  And she’ll leave the office with a clean slate for tomorrow.

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