Letting your desk pile up with unfiled papers, stacks of resource material, unopened mail, and an array of other items will surely take the wind out of your sails in terms of motivation first thing when you arrive in the morning. It is disheartening to see all that clutter. And you don't want to have to start the day by sorting through all that paper looking for the files you need. Talk about a waste of energy!
A negative attitude can hinder your productivity. It takes much longer to get started on a project or marketing piece if you're not in the mood to do it. Instead of passing judgment on tasks, recognize that completing tasks like going through paperwork or filing (even though you may not look forward to them) is just another part of becoming successful.
To stay on top of things, create an organization system. If you find that there are pieces of mail, papers, or forms that are lying around because they don't “belong” any place, then create one. Add another category to your permanent organizational file system for these stray pieces. Identify what categories are missing in your organizational plan; then it is easy to correct this by starting a new file with the name of the proper category. If this seems like too much for you to handle, bite the bullet and hire a professional organizer to help you set up a system. In the long run that is worth its weight in gold.
Take twenty minutes after lunch every day to file papers and put things in their place. This is a no-brainer task that puts little demand on your mental facilities—perfect for tackling while your body is busy using its energy to digest your food. On those days that you do not have ten to twenty minutes to organize your desk or office, put your papers in neat stacks with a sticky note on top of each bunch to categorize information for easy retrieval and filing later.
Take one catch-up day per month to focus on fine-tuning your organization system. Make sure everything is filed in its proper place. Move completed files into your archives. Sort through paperwork to determine what needs to be kept and what can be recycled. File anything that isn't filed yet. You may think that you can't afford to take a day just to sort and file. But it takes more time than a day to find “lost” material or to start from scratch on a project because you don't remember where you placed previous work.
Additionally, always keep your work space clear and neat, even if the rest of your office isn't.