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Why Having A Paper Pile On Your Desk Is A Mistake

It's a huge distraction ...

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POSTED BY ELLEN WILLOUGHBY ON 19/09/2019 @ 8:00AM

I recently moved into a new office and right now, my desk is lovely and clear with no piles of paper, stationery, post-it notes and the other random clutter that you find on desks ...

If this is what your desk looks like then you really need my help!

If this is what your desk looks like then you really need my help!

copyright: thodonal / 123rf stock photo

Today I started my first paper pile and immediately realised if I did that it would be a huge mistake! Why? Because once I get into the habit of leaving paperwork on my desk that is unopened, or worse, opened and not dealt with, then I am leaving bits of my mind thinking about what I have to do to sort out the stack of paper on my desk.

"This reduces your productivity as you do not have a clear focused mind!"

When you have a paper pile, you are always dreading having to file it away and deal with it. Actions get missed and correspondence is not dealt with. Plus, it does look messy sat on your desk.

Some companies already operate a clear desk policy. "Clear desk, clear mind" being the main theme. They are right. As was recently written in this headspace blog: "According to a study conducted by the Princeton Neuroscience Institute, having multiple visual stimuli present within the range of one’s view will result in those stimuli competing for neural representation. In layman’s terms, the more clutter you can see, the more easily you’ll find yourself distracted. Your brain is being presented with more than one sandwich to bite into, and it becomes unsure of which to taste first."

So, what is the solution to this issue? My solution is to figure out what action the paperwork requires me to do:

  • Does it need to be actioned with a phone call or reply?

  • Does it need to be delegated to someone?

  • Does it need shredding or filing away?

I then do one of 2 things.

I either action it immediately if it will take less than 2 minutes to do, or I add it to my ‘to-do list’. That way the paperwork isn’t stacking up in a big pile and distracting me.

I know exactly what to do with it and when I'm going to do it. This leaves my mind clearer to get on with the important things as it is not cluttered by thinking about an ever-growing paper pile.

"Do you need help sorting you and your colleagues' paper piles out?"

If you'd like to learn how to deal with those piles of paper, or a hundred other ways to become more productive in your day, do give me a call on 01858 414226 or click here to ping me an email and let's see how I can help you.

Until next time ...

ELLEN WHILLOUGHBY

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More about Ellen Willoughby ...

I'm Ellen, Director of All About Quality and All About Productivity. I have over 20 years experience as a professional in the quality world and 17 years as a practising Buddhist. As a result of this, I have a passion for improvement. in business and personal life.

This has led me to productivity and how I can be the best I can by devouring hundreds of blogs and books on the subject and practising meditation and mindfulness techniques. Combined, this has helped me understand what needs to be done to improve the performance of processes and more importantly you.

If you would like to know how I can help you do call me!

Telephone:

01858 414226