Don’t let this be your office.
Take a moment and look around. Do you have piles of papers scattered everywhere? Have you recently been unable to find an important document? Do you feel like you are swamped by junk mail? If this sounds familiar, I may be able to help. As someone who has previously struggled with clutter, I can tell you that de-cluttering your life can have a beneficial impact on your day-to-day activities. You may become more productive and organized, you will have more space and you may even be happier and less stressed. Preventing clutter can be accomplished with a few minutes a day and a very lean system.
- Triage your incoming mail
Go through your mail as soon as it enters your home or office. Junk mail and anything accessible online goes directly to the recycle bin or shredder. Don’t keep catalogs, free newspapers, stray envelopes or any other mass produced junk mail. When in doubt, throw it out.
- Actionable items
Process paperwork that needs an answer immediately and keep a payment folder on your desk for bills and a calendar for invitations. Sometimes, a simple and quick email can finish a task.
Some documents, such as invitations and schedules, need to be kept for a short time, while others need to be kept indefinitely. Keep a drawer in your desk for those long-term items such as tax records and large purchase receipts.When your drawer gets full, spend a few minutes to sort individual pieces into their permanent home. Instead of a paper filing system, consider scanning your documents to store them electronically.
- The key to making this work:
o Create a filing system for various documents
o Don’t wait – Do little things immediately so you don’t have to touch things twice
o Use your phone calendar to keep your appointments, events and hold reminders
o Store documents electronically to further minimize clutter (look out for my future blog on how small business owners can keep digital records)
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