In pursuit of the paperless desk…
What does your desk look like at the moment? Clean and clutter free? Hole punch and desk tidy all following feng shui principles? Even if you start off the day nice and tidy, or are lucky enough to have a PA to organise you, chances are that by the end of it all the incoming papers will have found their way into their own little resting places, and you will have to shuffle them about to find the one you want. This applies at home too, with all the incoming papers and post that lands every week. As much as many of us aspire to a paper free desk, even in the days of file scanning and online services, you just can’t escape a paper trail. Wasting time trying to find the right thing, or gazing uninspired at that invoice, memo or money off voucher you may just need some day, all eat into productivity and put you into a bit of a trance. One training course I went on advised to put a red dot on a piece of paper each time you read it. If you pick it up for the fourth time, it clearly isn’t important and can go in the bin or be passed on to someone else (that’s it, add to their pile)! Another tip, and one which I will credit if I can remember who originally wrote it, is to look at each piece of paper and ‘Ditch, Delegate or Do’. There may have been a fourth ‘D’ but I was told this about 8 years ago, and that is the part that has stuck with me.
I often have a couple of piles of paper on the go, but read an article in the Guardian’s work section last Saturday all about managing paper. One of the main things they recommended was to get a filing box, categorise your files from A-Z, and go from there. Such a simple system appealed to me, so I dutifully spent Sunday evening following this advice. The results? My two piles of paper are now either in the recycling bag, or in my new shiny filing system. No agonising about which filing categories to have, or where to file that elusive document that spans two categories. I cheated and added ‘to do’ and ‘in-box’, but the filing was so quick to do, and very satisfying. Filing is boring, I’ll admit, but this made me feel better organised, tidy, and I hope it will save me a lot of time and mental clutter. So simple! Why didn’t I think of it? Whether I can find anything again remains to be seen. Share your own tips below….
No comments yet.