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How can you clear your cluttered desk?

Below, I outline some simple steps to start conquering your cluttered desk.

If work expands to fill available time, then the solution is reducing the amount of time you have to get work done.

When pressed, most people can get a given job done in half the time they usually use. You may have noticed, for example, that the day before a trip you manage to clear an in-box that has been jammed for weeks or even months. There is nothing like incentive to get you through a tedious job!

How can you get your work done in half the time?

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It takes some creative thinking (and a few organizational skills and time management strategies), but is well worth the effort.

If you have a pile of paperwork on your desk, try setting an alarm for one hour and see if you can beat the clock. Tons of files to clean up? Don’t stress! Instead, find a buddy who wants to work on a project of his or her own, and a morning when you can both devote yourselves to your respective tasks. Every hour, call each other up for two-minute progress reports. One of my clients kept saying she was going to clear away all the piles of papers in her office, but it just wasn’t happening. So we set aside a Saturday morning, and while she cleaned, I worked on my in-box. She called me every hour to report her progress and I cheered her on with pep talks. In three hours she had cleared her desk and two file drawers and felt terrific!

Working this way turns dreary tasks into fun, stress-free games, and you will be amazed at how much you can swiftly accomplish. The ultimate goal of organizing skills like this is having as much time as possible for yourself and the fun things in life. People who are having a great time easily attract success; opportunities come to them. So get your work done in half the time!

Now, get to work and clear your cluttered desk!


Excerpted from the international bestselling book Coach Yourself to Success: 101 Tips to Accomplish Your Personal and Professional Goals by Talane Miedaner, McGraw-Hill (2014).

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