One of my contentions is that being organized is a big part of being successful in any job. That means being organized with time but also physically organized. Not everybody will have the luxury of being to implement all of these tips … but even using some of them will make a difference.
1. Keep your work surface available for the task at hand (even if it means piling stuff on the floor behind you).
2. Create (and use) a basic filing system. This will change and evolve over time, but basically put stuff in files!
3. Don’t keep paper copies when it exists electronically.
4. Keep notes in an organized manner … preferably in chronological order in a notebook that can be referenced later.
5. Throw out everything you possibly can.
6. Keep a reading file. Clip articles and keep them here for reading when you have time.
7. Have regular clean out times … and a big one each year!
8. Keep your most active files close … some people like them in in plain view rather than in the drawer.
9. Use a headset when on the phone … allowing you to still type and write.
10. Have a way to let people know you are not to be disturbed right now … a sign works, as long as (a) you don’t overuse it and (b) make clear to people that it is serious.