Maintain a Paper Flow Not a Pile Up
Everyone has piles on their work area at some time or other. Usually with me they appear when I have not been managing my time well.
Here are some tips to make your paper flow across your desk without piling up.
Spend as little time as possible getting that paper off your desk. Paper piles up because you defer making decision about it. Instead of laying down the paper and leaving it there, take a few moments right away and ask, “What is the first action I must do with this paper?”
Immediately trash/recycle/put in the shred box what you do not need.
Put the other papers in action files according to that first action. You might label the files “Read”, “Pay”, “File”, “Pending”, or “Contact”.
Record dates on your calendar. Record dates of obligations to others and dates you plan to do the action that the folders demand. Record when you are going to pay those bills, make those calls, or read those papers.
Put all magazines and catalogues in a basket near where you read. Every month clear out old editions.
Use project bins. If you have ongoing projects, designate a bin for each project or a folder within a bin. After you are through working on a project for the day, sweep it back into that bin.
Following these habits will help you maintain a clear desk and a clearer mind. Getting rid of the piles of paper that scream “Look at me!” when you are working on something else can be very distracting.
Let’s keep the paper flowing right across the desk and on to its final destination. No more pile ups!
Jonda S. Beattie Professional Organizer