Besides prepping my ingredients, I also put a disposable plastic grocery bag on the counter, so that I can toss all trash in there conveniently ~ without having to carry it to the garbage can. Then, when I'm done, I tie up the bag and throw it away.
Ann Burrill (Food Network Channel) always talks about the importance of MISE EN PLACE (which means "putting it all in place").
According to Wikipedia: Mise en place (French pronunciation: [mi zɑ̃ ˈplas]) is a French phrase which means "putting in place", as in set up. It is used in professional kitchens to refer to organizing and arranging the ingredients (e.g., cuts of meat, relishes, sauces, par-cooked items, spices, freshly chopped vegetables, and other components) that a cook will require for the menu items that are expected to be prepared during a shift. The practice is also effective in home kitchens.