DID YOU KNOW that 80% of papers that are filed are never looked at again? So don’t be afraid to trash those memos you’ve been hoarding. A national Harris Interactive survey of 2,027 adults shows that about 85% of respondents who deal with paperwork pile it — and then waste an average of 20 minutes a day just looking for items in the office. Not surprisingly, 44% wish they had a better way to organize things. The trash basket is a great place to start, but once you’re done ditching those invoices from 1994, here are some tips to declutter your desk, from consultant Jeff Zbar:
- Create simple categories and sort papers accordingly.
- Buy expanding files or other products designed for organization.
- Keep a brightly colored “hot” file on your desk for items that need your attention within 48 hours.
- Deal with the mail daily. Don’t let it pile up. File it or trash it.
- Set aside an hour one day a week to clean off your desk and inbox.