"Stuff" is the theft of productivity and one of the biggest thieves is clutter. So how do you reduce clutter?
Rule No. 1: Don't let it build up in the first place. Easier said than done, but here are some tips that should help, from the beginning to the end of the decluttering process.
- Keep your paper recycling bin outside.
- FAT: This stands for file, act or toss and has long been the gold standard of decluttering. Personally, I think the "act" part should be broken into two pieces: "Act now" and "Do it today."
You may want to set aside a certain time to deal with the important matters that don't require immediate attention. That way you can handle everything at once, being more efficient with your time, and keep your work space from getting cluttered.
Once you do act on something, however, either file it or throw it away.
- Reduce paper.
- Rearrange your workspace. View your workspace as a series of concentric circles.
Include in this inner circle the files that you will use that day.
The middle circle holds things you use occasionally. This may include reference materials, printer paper, etc. You know your own usage best.
The outer circle is where you banish the things you rarely use. We all have these -- printer ink cartridges, back-up disks, cords for electronics you no longer own and so on.
- Rearrange your drawers.
- Inbox, schminbox.
Use a vertical step file holder instead. They take up way less space on your desk, and because they're graduated, you can easily see each folder's label.
- Use the walls.
With both these alternatives, you will still have to spend time purging. As soon as you're finished with the file, put it in the file cabinet.
Do you have questions about time management, productivity or related issues? Join Jackie Harder's free Facebook group, www.facebook.com/groups/timetips/, call 451-9295 or send an e-mail to Jackie@key-dynamics.com.