By Steve Graham, Hometalk.com
Got paper clutter? We’re here to help! If you end up sorting through deep piles of overdue bills, old news and other items, take a few minutes to classify each piece of paper coming across your desk or into your mailbox. It should fall into one of three categories: immediate actions, delayed actions, references and trash.
Immediate Actions: Take a step to deal with any paperwork that requires immediate attention. That doesn’t mean you always have to drop everything to pay a bill or schedule an appointment, but you should take one of four steps:
• If it takes less than two minutes, do it. You’ll spend more than two minutes on the project if you just leave it in the pile and keep glancing at it.
• If it takes more than two minutes, put it in a “next actions” folder, and review the next actions folder daily. This should also include specific, small steps in ongoing projects. For example, “do taxes” is not a next action, but “contact bank for 1099 interest documents” might be a next action.
• Schedule it for action on a specific date, and put it in a dedicated folder for that date (Leave the Office Earlier offers a good system for 43 dated “tickler” folders — one for each month of the year, and one for each of the next 30 days).
Next: delayed actions, references, and trash