Ellen Langan of Langan & Associates in Seattle offered these insights on escaping from a cluttered desk:
- Do you empty your in-box daily? It should be equated to your mailbox at home. Neglect the mail and people think you're away. Act on in-box items every day: read, file or trash.
- Do you look for chances to throw things out? Place items in file folders in chronological order, most recent addition in the front. Look in the back to see if there's anything worthy of tossing each time you open a folder.
- Do you limit desktop space to things you're working on today? Consider saving the last five minutes of the workday to prepare your desk for tomorrow's tasks.
- Are you selective about what you read? Scan most items and devote time for materials that deserve attention. Avoid the popular organizer advice books. Read a copy of Steven Covey's ``Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.''