Improving Your Piles | Giftie Etcetera: Improving Your Piles

Friday, December 6, 2013

Improving Your Piles

I once got in trouble at work for having a desk that was too neat. My boss called me in and said that the "higher ups" were complaining that I wasn't getting enough done because my desk was too orderly. He assured them that I always met deadlines and produced tons of work product, but they didn't buy it. They insisted that I must not be working as hard as they were...or certainly my desk would be a disaster.

Let me say publicly that the "higher ups" at that particular job were easily the worst bosses that I ever had (and that includes both the boss recently arrested for solicitation of a lady of the night and the boss who would not let women get promoted as a general, articulated policy). (I should note that, in between those jobs, I was blessed with some of the best bosses that a person could possibly imagine.) 

In fact, I would argue that a neat desk meant that I was able to work harder than they did, as I could find things easily. But whatever. The "higher ups" were awful bosses and I quickly left that job. (Within a couple of years, all of them also resigned or were fired. They were simply ineffective.)

Once my boss talked to me, though, I made a point to be responsive and leave stacks of papers all over my desk. My OCD wouldn't let them be messy stacks, but if stacks are what they wanted, stacks were what they would get.

I learned, though, that there is a secret to stacking papers together. In fact, I used the secret today when substitute teaching.

The secret? Binder clips and a sticky note.

It's not very exciting, but it is such an easy way to organize projects, graded papers, papers to file, or anything that needs to be kept together. So, if you are a stacker by nature, get some binder clips and sticky notes and pile away.

By the way, I don't recommend paper clips, as they fall off too easily and don't come in enough sizes. Staples are generally too permanent and also don't accommodate all sizes of stacks. (Exception - staple a small stack of papers that is to be filed together.) 

Also, the sticky note is important. A random, unlabeled stack will reproduce when you are not looking and suddenly you'll have many, many unorganized stacks.

None of you want baby stacks, now do you?



yezenia said...

Oh boy. I'm a stacker. A bad one. My desk it always cluttered because I end up with baby stacks. I love binder clips, I need to tackle the unruly mess of papers littered on my desk with some clips and post it's. thanks for the tip! Do you leave them on stacks or do you have vertical or horizontal slots for them?

Giftie Etcetera said...

I actually keep them in my tote bag now (that I treat as a moving office), but at work, I had a hold box for projects.

Shirley said...

I love stacks with pretty designed clips and post-it notes in various sizes and colors!

Unknown said...

I libe in ORGANIZED CHAOS.....I like it.

Debralyn said...

Your title cracked me up-didn't know what might be included in this post!
I didn't "get in trouble" per se but when I taught (for 20 years) others commented on my nice neat desk in a negative way. It was as if I wasn't as good a teacher because I had places for all paperwork.
I do love the binder clips and sticky notes!
Love the comments.

A "Mild" Child's Mom said...

I can't leave a messy desk at the end of the day. It must be neat and cleared. If only I had that problem at home...