How much can you accomplish with just a 2-Minute Paper Pickup at your desk? Once you make this a habit every time you leave your desk, you’ll never come back to a mess. And you’ll save time getting started on your next project for the day!
Before you walk away from your desk, spend two minutes tying up loose ends such as:
1. Clear off the center of your desk and jot down your next three action items for your return.
You’ll feel calm as you step away and be more productive when you get back – because you prepared ahead of time.
2. Straighten the papers you were working on and put away any files.
You’ll reduce the chances of losing important documents if you return them to their proper locations. Tidy up loose papers so you’ll know where they are.
3. Enter new information into your database and toss scraps of paper.
Transferring information from notepads and sticky notes into a database instantly declutters your workspace and builds an organized you.
4. Return pens, paper clips, and stapler to their rightful homes.
You’ll save valuable time if you don’t have to go looking for your tools – because they are right where they belong.
5. “Stair-step” your priority paperwork by putting the most important to-do items on top, and the next ones showing under that.
You’ll stay on track, moving through your “To-Dos” when they’re laid out in order.
6. Send an e-mail to move an action forward or respond to a question.
Quickly returning emails and texts creates momentum and moves you ahead.
7. Prioritize telephone calls you need to make when you return.
Group your top three calls and assign them a time slot in your calendar. When you return to your desk you can quickly make those calls — keeping your day moving.
8. Pencil-mark the spot where you stopped reading.
You’ll easily finish if you can quickly pick up where you left off. A small pencil mark does the remembering for you.
9. Clear away all clutter, and push in your chair.
You’ll feel calm as you step away from your desk. A cleared desk welcomes you back both visually and emotionally and helps you focus on getting back to work.
10. Take items with you that can be delivered or mailed so that you can get them out of your work area.
You’ll have a sense of accomplishment and purpose as you keep things moving off your desk — and increase your productivity.
Excerpt from Simplify Your Life: Get Organized and Stay That Way! by Marcia Ramsland