Technology was supposed to lead us into the paperless society. Instead, it has done just the opposite. We’re printing out e-mails, making endless copies on the copy machine, sending and receiving faxes with the touch of a button -- the paper we deal with on a daily basis has actually increased enormously. There is hope, however. Keeping your paper under control can be a cinch with these 5 simple tips.
1. Don’t allow it to build.
Handle your paper on a daily basis. Don’t let it grow in a pile for days or weeks, otherwise it’s going to get totally out of control.
2. Once you get it, don’t put it down.
This doesn’t mean that every time you get a sheet of paper that you carry it around with you all day. It simply means that rather than putting it down somewhere ‘temporarily’ -- like on the dining room table, or a coffee table or a desk -- you immediately take action on it. You’re either going to do the action necessary right now, toss it, delegate it, or file it in an action file, a Tickler file, or a reference file.
3. Be ruthless.
Eighty percent or more of the paper you get on a daily basis can be immediately discarded. Open your mail over the recycle bin and toss unwanted papers immediately. Go through your In-box each day and toss papers that don’t concern you. Remove yourself from distribution lists you don’t need to be on. Go through your filing cabinet once every few months. Discard all outdated papers and unnecessary duplicates.
4. Think before you print.
Do you really need to print every single e-mail you get? Many e-mails, once read, can immediately be deleted. If you have to keep an e-mail, store it virtually on your computer. If you must print an e-mail, or a Web page, decide if you really need to print everything. If you highlight a portion of an e-mail or a Web site with your mouse, you can then click on FILE, PRINT, and then choose PRINT SELECTION. This way, you’ll only print the portion that you truly need.
5. Avoid the measles.
Many organization books will tell you not to pick up a piece of paper more than once to take immediate action on it. Unfortunately, this is not always possible. But, it is important not to spend your day just doing a lot of paper shuffling -- moving a sheet of paper from your In-box, to your desk, to your table and then back into your In-box. Instead, every time you pick up a sheet of paper, make a small dot in the upper right hand corner. Once your paper begins to look like it has the measles, immediately take action on that paper, so that you can get rid of it, pass it along to someone else, or file it for future reference.
by Maria Gracia - Get Organized Now! http://www.getorganizednow.com FREE Get Organized Now! Idea-Pak and E-zine, filled with tips and ideas to help you organize your home, your office and your life, at the Get Organized Now! Web site.