Do You Need Time Management Tips? Take the Messy Desk Quiz and Find Out.


Clutter on your desk or in your office is a clear indicator of procrastination – putting off what you know you need to do – clean up! You may have great intentions but the very thought of it makes your stomach turn.  It’s likely an old pattern you may have had since high school days – hating to clean up! If you really want to change this pattern of uncontrolled clutter, you can ask yourself, “What’s stopping me from taking charge of this old habit?”  Common answers are: I don’t have time; I’m too tired; I hate the thought of it” or “I might lose something”. Disorganization is a stressor that needs to go!

Brian Tracey, reports that in a survey of executives, 90% would not promote a messy person. The following are some time management examples to get organized.

Ways to Improve Productivity for the Disorganized

Take the Messy Desk Test and see how you rate, then read on to achieve effective productivity.

1) Most of the paperwork on my desk is stacked high and is not organized.

2) I am often in hunt mode, and could use organization techniques.

3) I often have unfinished projects somewhere on my desk.

4) When I finish my work for the day, I do not clean up my desk.

5) I use the floor of my office as a place to store papers or magazines.

6) I have many junk drawers.

7) I’m running out of space for files and for my paperwork.

8) I make notes on scraps of paper or envelopes, then cannot find them.

9) I feel overwhelmed by the clutter in my office and often work in another room.

10) My desk is a source of amusement to others.


0 – 2 You are highly organized and achieve high work productivity.

3 – 7 You can use some productivity tips as you spend a lot of time searching for things.

8 – 10 Your organization, time management needs attention as you feel disorganized.

Becoming organized needs to become a priority for stress-relief and personal well-being. A little disorganization is normal, but major clutter can create brain fog. Cleaning your work area has been shown to increase productivity by 20 – 40%.

Ways to Enhance Organization Skills

a) In your mind’s eye, imagine that you are organized, calm and manage your time well. You have just set positive thoughts into action.

b) Get some boxes and a couple of garbage bags; then map out some time to remove all the piles of paper on your desk and put them in the boxes. Ah, some weight is lifted off your shoulders already. Then work at 15 minute or half-hour increments whenever you can until the piles are sorted out. Or come into work early one day or on a weekend and do a major clean-up. Be ruthless! Recognize what is junk – items not needed any longer such as empty coffee cups and old newspapers and magazines. Tear out the article you want out of the magazine, file it and throw the remaining magazine out.

c) Put books and papers away at the end of the day unless you’re in the middle of a project. Leave what needs to be worked on in a prominent place on your desk.

Organizing your work area not only will help you feel more in control (and proud), but also will provide you a clearer path to pursue your goals. Practice the Chinese system of placement, Feng Shui, which means harmony: “Everything has a place.” And when placed properly, being organized can bring harmony to your life.

Be realistic. Take small steps toward productivity improvement. Put organization activities into your life for a happier, more productive and calmer you.


More time management techniques can be found in Rosalie’s best-selling book, Frazzled Hurried Woman! Your Stress Relief Guide to Thriving. . .Not Merely Surviving, especially in Chapter 9, Time Flies . . .And How to Catch it!