MISCONCEPTION #1: HANDLE PAPER ONCE
This is unrealistic and adds unnecessary pressure when handling papers. Focus on only letting the papers you need into your office and place them in one of two trays until you’re ready to decide where they go:
To-be-filed tray (for non-action items)
Tip: use smaller trays so your piles stay manageable
Everything else should be trashed, shredded or recycled - the sooner the better.
MISCONCEPTION #2: KEEP ALL PAPERS STORED OUT OF SIGHT
Some people work better with visual reminders and need to see the folders and papers of current projects. If you function better this way - don’t worry about having a clear desk.
Do make an effort to keep reference documents and non-current papers in a filing system that makes it easy for you to find them when needed.
MISCONCEPTION #3: BEING NEAT MEANS BEING ORGANIZED
Some people are fortunate enough to be neat and organized, but the two can be very independent of each other. While you may have neat piles and orderly shelves, you still might not be able to find what you need when you need it.
Being organized means:
You’re using structured systems that allow you to find things when needed
You’re getting things done (mostly) on time - with minimal frustration, overwhelm and stress
MISCONCEPTION #4: ONLY CERTAIN TYPES OF PEOPLE CAN BE ORGANIZED
Most people can be organized. If you truly want to be, there are proven systems to help you. Learning the systems and applying them regularly will make you organized.
MISCONCEPTION #5: BEING ORGANIZED TAKES A LOT OF TIME AND EFFORT
The truth is, it takes a lot less time and effort to be organized than it does to be unorganized. Disorganization wastes more time than most of us realize, and creates constant obstacles directly in the path of getting things done.