Pet Peeve: Random stuff on your desk

DBE Series 11

How can I convince people to stop putting random things on my desk?


Ouch! What an important habit to break!


You’ve got to create inboxes and place them near your door.


More importantly, you need to train them to stop.


The likelihood is that they don’t realize that this bothers you. It feels like disrespect and a disregard for your space and for you.


Like my article on people bothering you, you’ve got to take each person and show them your inbox. Tell them that this is for their benefit. They can note whatever they need to give you if they want. When they do it this way, the quicker and more efficient you will be for processing that paper.


Unfortunately, some people only learn from consequences, and I’ll give you a prime example here. Timesheets are a big deal, and your rule might be to have each employee put their completed timesheet in your inbox by Friday at 3:30, or else they don’t get paid.

Before initiating this consequence, tell each person and have them understand what the rule is. Write a memo and have each person sign a copy to show they know the law.
If your employee doesn’t give you their timesheet on time, the consequence is that they don’t get paid and will have to wait until the next payroll cycle.

If they call and complain, remind them of the rule.

So let’s summarize. Use inboxes, show people where they are. Give consequences to not putting their paperwork in the inbox, especially if they are time-sensitive.

Published by Janet Johnson | Financial Coach for Small Businesses

Janet Johnson is the author of My Money Pivot: An Entrepreneur's Guide to Finding & Making More Money. Before becoming a coach, Janet gained seventeen years of experience in a family-owned manufacturing company. She also trained small business owners in Financial Management and Lean Enterprise for seven years through contracts with the State of Connecticut and the Small Business Administration for seven years.

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