Do you have papers piles that seem to grow over night? Do you get one pile cleared only to have other piles double?
The way to conquer the chaos of papers piling up is to have a system for paper management. But you have to start somewhere so here are some tips for the care of your paper piles:
- Start with newest papers first. Begin with the pile of mail that came into your home today.
- Decide immediately what to do with each item. You can basically divide incoming papers into these categories: “to do”, “to pay”, “to read” and “to file”. Oh, and add “to toss”.
- Once you decide what action to take just do it. For example, this could mean putting the paper in a project file, the bill paying file or the magazine rack.
- If you have set up your filing system already you will be able to handle the file pile next.
- Now on to the older piles. This may mean that you pull out your calendar and schedule some project time. But in any case you will want to tackle each pile separately. As you handle the piles sort them into action piles. Remember that 80% of what you file will never be looked at again so be ruthless with the file pile.
- After you have handled the piles, set up a time in your calendar for maintenance so your piles will not grow again.
With regular care you will not only stop those piles from growing, but will create a great system for paper management.