Whenever I go downtown I see them: Women (and men) carrying a briefcase over one shoulder, a laptop computer over the other shoulder, a purse over the (3rd)shoulder, carrying a coat and umbrella and holding some envelopes and folders. Frequently her head is down as she looks, checking to be sure she hasn’t dropped something as she walks down the street. If she needs to pull open a door she cannot; if she needs her keys she will fumble with the purse because her hands are full or she will drop stuff. Worse yet, with all these things in her arms to juggle she’s so busy carrying things that she has no idea what’s going on around her, who is approaching her, or what precautions should be taken. Worse yet, if something does happen she cannot drop her stuff fast enough to run away.
So don’t do that! Keep your hands as free as possible to minimize distractions. I recommend using a rolling briefcase or cart. You can let go of them quickly and easily, they aren’t a distraction, and you can see what’s going on around you. An alternative is a backpack but a professional cannot really carry a backpack at work. And backpacks have one major disadvantage: they are hard to get out of if you have to drop it and run. (Sometime in the future I’ll talk about backpacks and kids. That discussion would also apply here.)