1. Remove everything from your desk. Place your phone on your left if you’re right handed and on the right if you’re left handed. Display personal items elsewhere.
2. Keep a spiral notebook by the phone for messages and phone notes. Write your voice mail messages in it and delete them from the system. Jot down reference notes before you make a call to reduce phone time.
3. Open your planner or turn on your PDA and place it on your desk. Use it to keep track of to-dos, follow-ups and ideas.
4. Keep office supplies in one drawer only. Buy a dozen of your favorite, inexpensive pens and keep them in a cutlery tray in the drawer. Keep back-up supplies in a plastic storage container with drawers.
5. Sort through your desk files. Keep in your desk drawers only files you use weekly or those that are personal or confidential.
6. Place your computer at a 90 degree angle to your desk. Keep your desk work surface clear of everything except essentials and your current project.
7. Set up a system for active files either in a step file sorter on your desk or in your file drawer. Sort your paperwork into it: Do, Consider, Awaiting Answer, File, Hold, Read and Refer.
8. Take ten minutes at the end of each day to keep your desk organized. Place tomorrow’s top priority project in the center of your desk. You’re ready for anything!