How Do I Gain Control of my Office?

Dear FlyLady,

Just today I have stumbled onto the Office Control Journal—-I am delighted. I noticed that the journal was pretty generic, for adaptability, but have you made any changes that you could share with us? I am a new administrator and knew there had to be systems that would help my work run as smoothly as my home.

I love you guys–Stumblin’ and a Fumblin’ in Texas


Here is an essay I wrote about gaining control of our offices. We have to adapt to fit our businesses. We all know what we have to do. We just need help getting up to do it.

Dear Friends,

Have you ever stopped and just looked at the condition of your desk? No wonder we can’t find anything! There is so much clutter piled on it that we can’t even find a place to put a single piece of paper. I am beginning to think that we don’t really need a desk in our homes anyway! All we do is pile it up, it becomes a tool that we can’t use so we end up at the dining table doing the work we have to do! Then we all know what happens to our dining table! It becomes another overflowing hot spot all because we don’t pick up after ourselves and put things away.

Just this week I had three entrepreneurs ask me how to grow their business. I asked them to tell me about their desk. They did not want to. This is when I started to describe their cluttered desk to them in great detail. They could not believe that I knew the shape of their desk. I told them if they want to grow their business that they would have to clear off their desk and keep it clear.

Doesn’t this sound familiar??? This is what we do with our shiny sinks. Their messy desks were just a representation of what was going on in their brains. They had everything piled on top of it and they could not find anything, yet all that stuff was tugging at their brains keeping them from focusing on what they needed to do. Talk about CHAOS!

With each entrepreneur, I told them to clear off their desk, even if they had to pile all that clutter on the floor. All I wanted them to see on the top of their desk was wood! Then I wanted them to get a timer and set it on their clean desk and a spiral notebook for taking notes when they had an inspiration. This will keep us from getting sidetracked.

Our homes are our business! When we start thinking about them as an investment in our future we will take better care of them. If you have a desk and can’t use it, I want you think why you have it. It is just another closet piled to the ceiling, pretending to store things so you can find them or is it just a black hole that pieces of paper fall into and are lost forever. Either way is a loss of a tool that is suppose to keep you organized.

I have watched my son for several years now. Every evening before he leaves work, he clears off his desk and puts away everything; imagine that! Starting with a clean slate in the morning! He has a routine for his mornings and one for his afternoons. Then, best of all, his going home routine. Each day of the week has its focus, too. I have virtually the same thing going on at my house but I don’t have an office or a desk. I have my favorite chair and a footstool. Oh and I can’t forget my ever growing hotspots that are my end tables. I have to police them daily.

I keep my Office Control Journal on the arm of my chair and my notebook on the other arm. I put together an Office Control Journal for you too and it is on our website.

We all have busy lives. We just need to capitalize on small increments of time to get things done. When you hear yourself say, “I DON’T HAVE TIME!” I want you to stop right there and do two minutes. We do have time if we would not allow ourselves to become overwhelmed!

A desk is a tool but if you abuse the tool it can’t help you do what you need to do! Part of getting rid of the stress in our lives is being able to find things when we need them. There is nothing worse than searching for a pair of scissors and they are not where they are supposed to be. This is one of the reasons we designed our Office in a Bag. This is a portable zippered bag that you fill with your necessary items for paying bills, making out grocery lists and menus and for doing your correspondence. All you have to do is put your desk tools into the bag along with a three ring binder. You can have an office at your fingertips.

This tool will help you to utilize those moments we spend waiting and waiting and waiting. It only takes a minute to write a check and get it ready to mail. This also gives you a place to keep your bills. This way you will always be able to find them. They will not be hiding in that hot spot on your desk.

I am beginning to think that we¬† don’t need desks or at least ones with a flat surface. Maybe an architects drawing table would be more to our style. At lease stuff could not pile up on it!

Are you ready to FLY with a clutter free desk?


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