September 13, 2011: I can't find it!
Getting organized does not take time away from work. It is part of your work.
The more cluttered and poorly organized your work environment, the less effective you are likely to be.
So, find the time to organize yourself. Your performance will improve immediately.
Just a few tips:
1. Get organized on a regular basis. Don't wait until you are so buried under paper (and electronic files, too) that you can't find anything.
2. Get organized at the end of the day, not the beginning. If you start in the morning, you may get stuck in "organizing mode" and not tend to other tasks that need to be done.
3. Get organized during open-ended time. Don't dive into your mess between meetings or shortly before you have to catch a train home. You cannot be certain how long your cleanup will take (it will definitely require more than one hour).
4. Don't feel guilty about spending time getting organized. It's like tuning up your car. If you don't do it, the car won't work anymore.