I get so many emails from people telling me that it all just gets so overwhelming they don't know where to start.One day everything is okay and the next it seems as if the paper is all over the place, they can't find what they need on their computer, they have thousands of emails in their inbox and they're paralyzed with overwhelm.
They can't even get to urgent tasks, let alone the important ones that will help them reach their goals.
This is what I suggest:
1. tackle one thing at a time
If your paper is driving you crazy, then spend an hour or two focused on nothing else but sorting the paper. If it's your email, then set your timer, set a goal and start replying.
I'm a very visual person and so I can't work with an untidy desk. I keep nothing on my desk except the current project and usually if I'm feeling very overwhelmed, I first clear my desk and then I can focus on my to-do list.
2. maintain the area
The key is to spend 5 minutes a day maintaining that organized space. It is amazing how spending just 5 minutes in each area of your office will set you up for success the following day.
It means that you can "hit the ground running" when you start the next day's work. If you spend a half-day with me on Organizing Intensives (virtually or in-person), I'll show you exactly how to set up your day, week and month so that your life feels fun and doesn't leave you frazzled
3. Use 10-minute pockets of time
Make a list of 10-minute tasks and keep the list on your desk, in plain view. Next time you have 10 minutes before you have to leave for a meeting, or you're on hold with a customer services representative, check your list and see what you can do to organize your office.
Some tasks that I like to keep for those 10 minutes are:
* tidying my desk
* de-cluttering a file
* making a phone call or two
* going through my sent items and following up on email
* easy web maintenance
* uploading blog photos
If you stick to these 3 steps, you should be more focused and productive with your work.
Marcia Francois is a time management coach and speaker who inspires busy women to break out of overwhelm, make the most of their time and take purposeful and focused action so they have the time and freedom to live life to the full.