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Two types o materials belong in your workspace, and it’s very productive to sort them accordingly:1. What belongs there permanently2. What is in transit and incompleteMost people have vague (i any) physical and visible distinctions between these two very dierent categories intheir environment – what has action required and what doesn’t, because it belongs there. In our workfow coachingwith executives, the rst activity we have them do is sort out what stays where it is and what still needs attention.Oten, too, there are many things that should be purged OUT o the environment. Sometimes a plethora ooutdated “stu” can accumulate, clogging up drawers and nooks and crannies o desk real estate.
The only items that belong permanently in your workspace are: supplies, reerence material, decoration, andequipment. Anything else goes rst in the in-basket to be processed and then is either tossed, tickled, led orcoded into your action-reminder system.“Supplies” – everything you need, and use up, on a regular basis – writing and printer paper, stamps, paper clips,tissues, ink, etc.“Reerence material” – your les, ring binders, directories, manuals, lists o codes, etc.“Decoration” – wall décor, art, plants, amily pictures, nostalgia, cartoons, etc.“Equipment” – urniture, phones, computers, PDAs, printers, stapler, letter opener, pens, chargers, projectors,briecases, etc.
Keep It Current
It’s oten a worthy exercise to exorcise the supplies, reerence material, decoration and equipment that reallyaren’t any longer. Many things that start out as unctional in those categories become outdated, useless, ormisplaced simply by the passage o time. It’s good to regularly purge and reorganize the desk, drawers, shelves,countertops, and les. It’s very easy to go unconscious to stu just because it’s there, undermining the senseo active utility in your environment. I you have things still around that you’re not sure i you might need again(such as miscellaneous electronic accessories), consider putting them urther away rom you in plastic storagebins labelled “Misc Gear,” which you can then reevaluate later as to its relevance.