In the long run, many people begin to believe that they are as inefficient as their messy desks. In other words, organization and time are quite closely linked.

Solutions to the problem of office organization have filled volumes. Here are a few tips:

  • Handle each piece of paper once.
  • After you have looked at it, don't add it to the growing piles; do something with it.
  • If you think you will need it for information, file it with other background information (and make sure you go through this file and weed out what you don't need every month or so).
  • If it requires immediate action, place it in one of the stackable letter trays on your desk. They should be labeled "To Read," "To Do," "To Pay" and "To File," or given similar tags.

You'll find that these are the four main filing categories of papers. All the other papers should sail right into the most efficient receptacles ever created for paper: the wastebasket.

Excerpted from Starting a Home-based Business