How do you clear your desk so that you find free time? In your work, first identify who is your immediate supervisor and who is the supervisee of your supervisor. Write an email or request for a meeting with them; “I am trying to organise my desk. I request for five minutes of your time to understand what success means to you. What do you expect me to be delivering? I see so many things on my items but I want to organise such that I am able to deliver what you like most.”
Because most people are very busy, writing an email may not help you, it is very important to add that going forward on a weekly basis, my list of priority is attached. Ask them to clarify if your priorities are key for business success. Keep following up your supervisor until you get time, look through these items. Once they know the list of your priorities, print and stick it on your table. This will guide your focus and strategic direction.
If you follow it, take your actions to the next level. Make sure you are aware of the pains of your boss so that you are the solution. Many people whom I have mentored in my private mentorship have always said they are doing a lot of work. And the boss takes all the credit. In fact that is the best. Make your boss rely on you so that the next time you need a salary increment, they will be your advocate. They will do anything to increase your salary. They know once you are not there, their work is not successful. They will suffer.
Once you do that, you are going to see career opportunities you never knew existed. To climb the corporate ladder, male may top people rely on your work for them to succeed in their roles.