Do you have a paper pile that won’t go away? A paper pile is a collection spot on your desk to “deal with later.” But that’s the problem, later never comes and the pile grows!
I ask you as I ask my Clients, “What does a paper piles cost you – time, money, or peace of mind?”
The surprising answer? “Peace of Mind” and that often costs you time AND money!
A paper pile is a guilt inducing pile of postponed decisions. It can hide bills that are due, require extra catchup time on the weekend, and unfortunately it grows unless you practice prevention boundaries with these three tips.
These three tips will guide you to organize your paperwork right now and prevent a pile up from happening in the future.
1. Make a Conscious Decision How Much Paper You Will Tolerate
Practice my famous 2-Minute Pickup every time you leave your desk by putting everything away before you get up and go. It’s surprising how wrapping up loose papers can free you to focus you when you return. A clean, organized space brings instant relief when the paper pile is gone and clarity of mind when you return.
Move from chaos to clarity by asking, Do I really need this paper? If not or if it’s digital, let it go. Don’t tolerate paper clutter in your personal space. You’ll get more done faster without it.
2. Plan 1 Strategic Paper Location on Your Desk
Decide where your “Incoming” spot is to place papers on your desk. That is the corner of your desk where you enter and sit down. I’m not a fan of an “In-Box” as it is a temptation to leave papers there. I prefer a corner of the desk so it’s clear by the end of the day.
To finish that pile of daily paperwork, list every related action on your To Do task list and put the paper away in a “To Do” file when you’ve written it on your “To Do” list, “To Read” file, or the actual file it belongs in. Now schedule your time to get the “To Do’s” done first.
* For mail sorting each day, use my famous “5 File Folders.” It works and keeps paperwork organized at home and work.
3. Leave a Desktop Clue What to Focus on Next
A clear desktop needs a focal point of “Next Actions” when you return to your desk. That “To Do” List will save you from wasting time scrolling through email and social media to get focused. Your To Do List on your screen or planner is your focus and cuts your work time in half if you get right to it. Even a sticky note works.
The fewer distractions on your desk, the more you will accomplish in less time. Lose the paper pile and get more done!
TODAY’S ACTION STEP:
Take a second and look around you. Do you have a paper pile on your desk, a bookshelf, or on the floor? How long will you tolerate it?
I ask because your success in business and in life depends on how you handle your paperwork!
Piles can cost late fees, uncashed checks, and sleepless nights reminding yourself of things to do the next day. No more. Clear up your paper pile and get control.
For assistance to get organized we recommend “30 Days to Boost Your Productivity” Coaching with Marcia Ramsland. DETAILS HERE
“In simplifying your life there is nothing more satisfying than to gain control of your paperwork.”
– Marcia Ramsland, Simplify Your Life: Get Organized and Stay that Way!