First, a confession. I don’t do what I’m about to recommend, at least not anymore. My current job involves zero paperwork, but in my previous, paper-based job, I was able to manage a mountain of paperwork while maintaining a pristinely clean desk. If you’re willing to put in a few hours to set up the general reference filing system I describe, you’ll not only find it easy to keep your desk free of clutter, but you get to the point where seeing extraneous paperwork build up on your desk will feel as unsettling as not showering. Think of clutter management as information hygiene.
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