Some of the most tedious tasks that we need to do at times is to sift through all the paper, bills and faxes that we accumulate over time. This chore that throws itself on ourselves is a time guzzler that we can all gladly do without. The endless slips of paper that we gather around us pile up day after day to become unending ream of paper that one day scream to be sifted through and junked or filed.
Piling up these papers consumes much more energy than it would otherwise require if you were to take timely action. It is not for nothing that they say ‘a stitch in time saves nine’ and the maxim can be applied to this situation perfectly. When it comes to stashing away the paper, we do not think much of it and want to just get rid of the pending work from the time being to save a few seconds. What we do not realize is that it requires time to keep the paper in a certain designated place and then when one needs to refer to it the paper will refuse to resurface and seems to get lost among the bundle of all the other papers. The situation gets worse by the time can finally find the paper that you were looking for since in the process you would have gone through some thousands of papers that may have caught your fancy. Valuable time is wasted away during this process!
One way of avoiding this situation and the dreary task of sifting through reams of paper is to take five seconds off the daily schedule and ensure that you put the right paper in the right place and junk mailers and papers that is not required as soon as it arrives. This means that you do not have to create space for unnecessary storage of useless material that you may ultimately never need. This immediate process of purge and merge should include throwing away any junk mail, filing bills and receipts in a file, organizing the folders into various categories and so on. Once the basic framework in which you structure your paper is ready, the rest is easy. All you have to do is ensure that the right paper gets into the right place. It could be the dustbin for some and a particular file for another.
The best time to start doing this process is right now! But in case you need an excuse to start and justify to yourself the need to clear up the old mess and start anew, then here are some times when you may like to kick-start the process. You could clear off your paper right after you have filed your tax returns. Or you could make cleaning an annual ritual and choose to clear up the old stuff on New Years day or on your birthday.
But make sure that you keep adding and modifying the files as and when papers come in rather than waiting for all of them to accumulate.
Vishal P. Rao shares his insights and tips on holistic living at Relishing Life.
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