Let’s face it you can’t do it all yourself, you will eventually need help or information from another person. You need a way to track the help you are getting. The way to do this is to have a waiting for list.
Do you have piles of paper stacked on your desk? Do you really think you can find everything? Is that piece of paper on top your next big project that is going to move your business forward? How about that paper under that one, you know the one you can’t see….
Some say that a messy desk is a sign of a busy person. I think, in most cases, that might be true. But don’t mistake busy for being productive, the two are not the same.
If you get in the habit of keeping things where they belong, you will be able to find them later.
I have a simple folder system that sits at the corner of my desk. I use one of the those black wire frame folder organizer racks to keep them neatly arranged.
Here’s what’s in the folders:
I like clear poly folders. They last a long time and never get sloppy looking. I just recycle them for the next project. Clear folders can be handy it lets you see the document on the top of the stack. Keep this in mind if you have sensitive data that you may not want to share on that document.
I take it one level further by color coding the file tags. It makes easier to find a file with the color coding.
I use Post It super sticky notes for the color coding. I also use a label maker to label the file. The label goes right over the post it note. When I want to recycle the folder I just tear off the post it note with the label on it and replace it with a new one. It keeps things neat!
One great side effect of the folder system is if you get interrupted by an important phone call you can scoop everything up and stick in a file. At a later time you can go back to it.
Sometimes knowing where your “stuff” is can be half the battle. Interruptions along with a busy schedule lend themselves to stacking papers on your desk in an unorganized mess. But it doesn’t have to be that way and you can keep your stuff organized.
Let’s talk more about this on Twitter.