Paper, like the clutter in our homes, is not about the “stuff.” What is paper clutter about, besides unresolved decisions, which is what we always hear? Why are you feeling surrounded by papers? Once you know your own reason, then you can begin to corral the paper and call it a solved problem. Here are 5 underlying reasons people have paper troubles and what to do about each.
#1 Paper Clutter Reason: You don’t have a task management system or to do list that works for how you think. In my experience, there’s clearly a connection.
Solution: What’s working about your system? What’s not working? You need: the big picture, to see the months flowing by; a weekly view that focuses you on moving things forward, the day to day and your bigger goals; and then the mini to do list, those few things you really want done by the end of the workday or you won’t feel accomplished.
#2 Paper Clutter Reason: You finish a project …. but don’t really finish by putting away or tossing out unnecessary papers.
Solution: Add one more step to most everything you work on. Put it away. Toss it out/recycle it. Decide where its permanent home is.
#3 Paper Clutter Reason: You’re more of a paper person, but you do some things like calendar and reminders on your devices.
Solution: A hybrid solution is getting more common (bullet journals are one example). Decide what works best for you on paper and what’s a better use of technology.
#4 Paper Clutter Reason: You can’t decide where to put it so it sits in a pile.
Solution: Why would you look for this piece of paper again? That helps with file naming and how near to your day to day workspace to house it. How often might you look for it, because if you could find it again online easily or bookmark it, do you need to keep your own version?
#5 Paper Clutter Reason: You move too fast and the need to file has very little business value to you [the least surprising and most common].
Solution: Decide to keep less. Invest in a technology solution instead [faster than paper and relatively unlimited]. Hire someone to file for you.
Look for your own reason and see how that solution might work for you. Worth a try, isn’t it?
Still not quite clear enough? Call for a no charge introductory meeting to see if we can get you one solution to experiment with and also discuss how coaching or virtual productivity would work. Phone 603.554.1948 or email Sue@CoachSueWest.com