Many clients I work with talk about how they dread to come into work the following day (especially after a weekend) knowing they have a pile waiting for them on their desk. My solution to this on-going situation is to do the following:
1.Block off 10 minutes at the end of the day and book an appointment with yourself! We are able to keep a doctor or dentist appointment, therefore I stress the urgency to keep your appointment with yourself. That means no phone calls, texts, tweets, etc. No interruptions!
2. Start by addressing the paper on your desk. If there are no areas set up, I suggest creating 3:
These are jobs/tasks that need to get done and/or are time sensitive. A tiered organizer may work where the most time sensitive items are in front.
This would include any paperwork that needs to be kept and/or filed. This can be a tray, a bin, a box or anything else that will hold the paper temporarily. Setting a time to file is for another time.
Recycling and/or shredding
Many of my clients use a recyclable grocery bag or a plain box to toss recycling. Most companies have policies on shredding and thus have an area set aside for this.
3. Once the paper has been placed in the correct spot, the next job is to place all ‘tools’ back into their correct spots. Pens, pencils, scissors, any stationary, etc. Many of these items can really clutter up a desk! Make sure you put them away.
4. Check work email. Flag emails (or mark them as un-read) if you need to address them tomorrow or on Monday.
5. Start a “To Do” list for the next working day. Revisit your action items to ensure you are ranking them in order of priority.
6. Check your calendar as to the events happening the next day.
- Is there a meeting you need to remind yourself of?
- Are you meeting a client at a particular time?
- Is there a deadline that you need to be conscious of?
By looking at the next day, you are mentally preparing yourself for what lies ahead.
It may sound like a lot of things to do, but once you get in the habit of taking 10 minutes each day, you will be thanking yourself the next morning! If a cluttered desk is really causing you to feel stressed out or anxious, I urge you to take the small amount of time to get it together!