Staying Organized Tips

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How do I keep my desk from being so cluttered?

A file jacket for everything

When I work, I never know when a client is going to call to ask about a project I'm not currently working on. Hence, my desk tends from order to disorder throughout the day. The solution, I've found, is to keep each project has a separate file jacket. At the end of the day, I put all my work files back into those job jackets, (even though I work on multiple projects at odd times throughout the day). That way, I get the feeling of "starting fresh" each day, without all the desk clutter.

   
Should I file my work information with my personal files since that would be easier?

Separate your work files from your home files.

While it may seem like a good idea to combine the financial and administrative files in one cabinet, doing so can complicate your home and work life. Keep everything separate and marked with "work" or "home" so that you can find information easily.

   
How do you get your children to stop interrupting work time?

Clearly identify "emergency" situations with your children.

Children and adults often have different ideas of what constitutes an emergency. If your children are old enough to occupy themselves, give clear instructions on when you can be disturbed. Set up rules, such as blood, fire, and broken bones. Keep the rules simple and few so that your children will remember them.

   
What are the Palm and other handheld devices good for?

The Amazing Handheld Device

In the old days, I'd carry around a steno notebook to keep my to-do lists, a name and address book for all my contacts, and a calendar for all my appointments. The advent of Act and Outlook software helped a bit, but with the advent of the Palm and other handheld devices, all of these functions work together neatly in a single, tiny device. The newer handhelds are going to be even more practical, because they'll automatically sense a wireless network, meaning you can log on almost anywhere you go.

   
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Patricia Walters-Fischer