A good rule to follow is to only have out on your desk the project you are working on at the moment. Think of your various projects or tasks as your clients. You would not pile all your clients into your office at one time with their various needs and questions. It would be chaos.
Yet that is exactly what you do with your desktop. You pile it with all manner of things.
If your papers and files were real people, you’d not see them all at once. Instead, you’d have a waiting room. You’d invite in one client and work with them while the others waited. In fact, you’d have appointments with the others.
For papers, this means you have a holding area for the papers and schedule your day. Using a to-do list will help you keep on track of items. You don’t need them piled on your desk to remember to do them. That is a system born to fail the first time one file gets covered by another. Getting buried is sheer death!
Until next time …