Since a significant amount of time is spent sitting behind a desk or in front of a computer, design your work area so that there's a place for everything and that the telephone, notepads, pens, pencils and appointment book are at your fingertips. Place additional resources — but only those that are essential — within easy reach. This will minimize movement and allow you to be more productive.
To prevent unnecessary clutter — and wasted time — limit the amount of items on your desk. Enter deadlines and notes directly into your phone, calendar or personal planner. This will prevent little scraps of paper from piling up on your desk.
Categorize files into two categories: active and inactive. Keep active files accessible (on your desk, in a rolling file cart or filing cabinet) and store inactive files in a labeled storage box. This will reduce time spent rummaging through a huge stack of files that may not be current.
Don't forget to utilize the often-wasted space available behind the door or on the wall over your desk. Using products such as wall-mounted grids or over-the-door hanging storage racks to hold desk accessories, CDs or DVDs will optimize limited workspace.
Reading a document over and over can waste valuable time. Minimize the number of times a document is read by immediately filing, discarding or placing the items in a "to do" file. The amount of paperwork on your desk will be greatly reduced by making this a part of your daily routine.