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5 steps to productivity

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One of the great time-management tips is simple and straightforward: a clean desk and organized workspace. Just as an excellent chef cleans the entire kitchen before and after cooking, so should you organize your workspace before you begin working. 

Follow these 5 organizing tips to double your productivity in the office:

1.    Organize your desktop. Put all your documents away in the appropriate files, both physical and online. Keep your computer desktop clean. If you can’t see your screensaver, there are too many items on your desktop.

2.    Focus only on your current task. Deal only with your current task. Try to have only one item in front of you at a time. Many people believe that they work more effectively in a messy work environment, but studies show that when people are forced to clean up their work environment and have only one task in front of them, their productivity doubles or triples.

3.    Organize your desk with the proper supplies. Get organized and stay organized. Make sure your office supplies and materials are fully stocked and readily available. You will find that nothing is more destructive to efficiency than having to continually stop working for lack of proper supplies.

4.    Declutter your life and your desk. Cluttered desks cause you to spend an enormous amount of time looking for the materials you need. Psychologically, the sight of a cluttered desk or office provides subconscious feedback that you’re disorganized. Furthermore, it leads to continuous distraction as your attention darts from item to item.

5.    Keep your email organized. Keep your inbox clean and organized. If you don’t need an email, delete it right away. Pick a couple of times during the day to answer all your emails all at once. Avoid stopping to answer them as they come in. Keep your inbox in check, and don’t let email overtake your life.

At the very least, clear your work space by putting everything on a credenza behind you or on the floor or even in boxes. You will be amazed at how much more productive you can become simply by maintaining cleanliness and good order.

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Brian Tracy is the CEO of Brian Tracy International, which specializes in business training, and the author of the best-selling Psychology of Achievement. For more information, go to


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