Getting organized is the key to a successful semester.  Here is the second in our series of tips to help you get organized.

Contain your clutter, detritus, or other distracting stuff that has been sitting around your office.  I really wish I had known that this was a good idea when I first started trying to figure out how to get organized. Instead, I had piles and shelves and floor space and stack trays FILLED with stuff and it just overwhelmed me and made me feel worse. If someone then had said, “Meggin, here’s an idea: Take all this crap that you don’t even know what it is or where it belongs or whether you need it and put it in a box.”

The truth is that it would have been many boxes, but that’s OK. If you need this tip because you have clutter and unorganized books, papers, folders, files, post-it notes, or any other general detritus – get however many boxes you need. Get those boxes and start filling them up with what is stacked around and may have been stacked around for months or even years.

Get good boxes from an office supply store – the kind with lids – and fill them up and then put a lid on them and stack them up, preferably out of the way.

Note: You haven’t thrown anything away – unless as you’re piling it in the box you can see that it needs to be tossed – so you have it. No need to panic. But NOW, it is contained. That’s a key concept. It is contained and not screaming out to you all the time and distracting and bugging you from whatever else you are doing.

Sorting these boxes is something for another day – a little bit at a time, but for today, you are containing the clutter and getting it out of site so you have some open spaces.

And if you would like more tips for a successful semester I invite you to access The Compendium of Productivity Tips for Professors! A Step-by-Step Guide to a Successful Semester and a Compelling Career as an Academic.  It is a treasure trove of ideas to support you in your quest for peaceful, predictable productivity.


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