My current emphasis: how to make good habits and break bad ones (really)

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A simple, easy, cheap way to fight the clutter that appears on your desk.

PadpaperI recently stumbled onto a new workday trick that keeps my desk cleaner and my mind clearer.

You know those little notes you write to yourself? The phone numbers, the URLs, the “call John Doe” reminder, the quick “don’t forget” notes…all those nagging loose ends that clutter the paper surfaces of a desk?

I used to scribble down quick notes to myself on whatever piece of paper that was lying around. This caused problems for several reasons: later, I couldn’t find what information I needed; I often couldn’t read my writing or figure out what a note meant; and often I accidentally tossed something I needed, or was reluctant to toss a note because I didn’t know if I needed it.

Now I have a “scratch paper for the day.” I keep a pad of paper by the phone, and anytime I have the urge to make a note to myself, I discipline myself only to use that pad of paper.

At the end of the day, I toss the piece of paper, after copying anything I need to keep.

I’m amazed at how much difference it has made in my sense of order. I’m not surrounded by illegible scribbles that may or may not be critically important.

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I rarely manage to post a link that relates to my own post for the day, but today I pull off this feat of relevancy — check out Ian’s Messy Desk.

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