Do you feel safe or stressed in a fortress?
The lawyer next-door took time today to organize his case files. Each file was nicely labeled and probably 2-hole punched and organized by date. The files are now horizontally filed in a wire organizer and sit opposite of him at his working desk. They look nice and pretty but the idea of placing them as a front wall of a working desk increased my anxiety.
There are other lawyers that literally create walls of files around the perimeter of their desk. There are also stacks of files on the floor surrounding the desk, creating the first line of resistance to the center of the fortress. I can only guess the reason for creating a fortress of files. It is the person's inbox, it is a safe haven to keep out visitors, it is their own "system" of keeping track of their work priorities.
When I have an appointment with my CPA, there is not a file on her desk except for mine. This makes me feel confident that when she works on my business she is not distracted.
I use the same approach; I work on one client file at a time. My priorities for the week are in an electronic document and I make adjustments during the week as needed. At the beginning of the month, I create a written list of my open cases, i.e. projects, and include the next 2-3 steps I need to perform towards the goal of closing the case. When I get busy and start stressing that I am going to forget something, I go to my list of open cases and assure myself that everything is ok.
That is my system. It creates stress if I place a stack of priority files or lists in close proximity to my work space. Recognize the system that fits your needs and make adjustments if it isn't working for you.