Dont Get Lost In The Shuffle

I have a good friend whom (also being in the same business) I often compare notes with.

One of the things that I always give him a hard time about is the fact that even though he has one of the biggest desks I have ever seen I have never actually seen the desks surface.

It is always covered from corner to corner with stacks of paperwork, trade magazines, client files and little scraps of paper with hand-written notes all over them.

Now, right now, stop and look at your desk and tell me what you see. If you can't remember what color the top of your desk is, you may need some help.

Life is simpler, less stressful and more profitable when you're organized. If you cringe at the thought of digging out -- take heart. The following are several helpful tips by Wanda Phillips in Success Insight Magazine (and a few of my own) on getting rid of the clutter.

- Begin with your desk. Mentally divide it into 4 sections, then start in one corner and don't move to the next section until you see the bottom! Next, tackle the drawers. Then arrange your desk so that it is user friendly. Put your most used items in immediately accessible space.

- Trash it! Keep the waste basket handy. Go through everything. If you don't absolutely need it or haven't used it in a long time get rid of it. If it's just too difficult to decide, get a box to put the questionable items in. You can then shove the box in a closet knowing that if you really need a certain item you can go through the box and find it. If you are only keeping an item because you think so-and-so needs it then give it to them! Mail it to them if you have to.

- Use your computer. Create a phone, address and pertinent info file. Take all those papers, magazines, etc. and record the phone, address, web address and any other important info. Then toss the paper! Be sure, of course, to backup you computer files regularly.

- Make a calendar. Record all important events and times in one place. No more memos stuck all over! If you need a reminder, send yourself an e-mail.

- File it! If you have to keep it, then put it in a folder, label it plainly and file it alphabetically.

- In/Out Box Use an inbox and and outbox. Only allow one project or file on your desk at a time and finish it before you start on something else. Keep all other items filed or in the inbox, even if it is stacked three feet high.

- Return things. Put files back in the cabinet, books back on the shelf, extra supplies back in the closet. Rewrite loose jotted memos in a notebook or the proper file and toss the original.

I know it may be really hard but you will thank me when it you see the benefits.

Shawn Meldrum has spent the last two decades marketing everything from almonds to landscape lighting. He currently specializes in marketing for mortgage brokers, loan officers and real estate agents. For free mortgage marketing articles and much more visit:

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