Are you drowning in paper?
How long has it been since you have seen the top of your desk? When I ask people why they pile instead of file, the two most frequent answers I get are ‘If I file it away I’m afraid I’ll never find it again’, and ‘If I put it away, I’m afraid I’ll forget about it.’ As Barbara Hemphill says: Clutter is postponed decisions®.
The key to your new system is to decide now. Start off by creating a designated space for the paper-flow in your office. You can use stackable trays for
- An ‘IN’ tray to hold the mail and papers you haven’t looked at yet; and as you go through these papers, make a decision and move them along;
- A ‘FILE’ tray for papers you need to file away in your file cabinet;
- A ‘SCAN” tray if you are paperless.
Deal with Paper FAST!
When going through your IN tray, think FAST – make a decision based on these 4 choices:
- File it » Information you need to keep. You can either file this away right away or move to your File Tray for later.
- Act on it » Is this a quick action? Take action immediately, if not move on to the next step:
- Schedule it » Decide when you’re going to take action on it and schedule it
- Toss it » Get rid of the stuff you don’t need, don’t forget to shred your personal & financial information, and recycle when possible.
By having a quick & simple system in place you can easily process your paper without having to spend too much time or energy.