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Paper Piling, Horizontal Filing, and Other Filing Options

Paper Piling, Horizontal Filing, and Other Filing Options

    Have you ever noticed that some people have piles of paper all over their office?  If you do not organize by piling, you might be viewing those piles with curiosity, disgust or amazement.  Why would anyone want to be surrounded by piles, especially “dysfunctional” piles of paper that take up whole sections of their office floor?

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    After many rounds of pile busting for my clients, I have learned that many ‘pilers’ share certain characteristics:

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    • they are visually oriented and worry that if papers are out of sight, they will be out of mind;
    • they prefer to organize horizontally; instead of vertically (traditional filing);
    • they have difficulty throwing papers away because they are afraid they will either make a mistake or miss an opportunity;
    • they have difficulty making decisions because they tend to try to consider all the possibilities for use of the papers;
    • they are easily overwhelmed by paper; once they get even a little behind on paper management they shut down and stop dealing with it;
    • they really do not know how set up more effective systems for effectively dealing with paper.

    What to do? Of course, one option is to continue using piles of paper to track projects in progress. But you’ll want to make sure they are functional piles– ones that contain papers pertaining to just one subject or project.

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    Other options to avoid piling:

    • Make a commitment to MAKE A DECISION about what to do with paper the first time you touch it.  1) Is it an action item? 2) Should it be filed? 3) Should it be routed to someone else? 4) Is it trash? 5) Is it something to read? 6) Or, is it something you are undecided about?  Create easy to reach places for each of those types of items.  Then, put it in the appropriate place.
    • Make a commitment  to STOP SETTING PAPER ASIDE for any reason.
    • Use a step sorter on your desk to make files visible.  Have those files contain active projects or documents and forms you use frequently.  Be sure to label the files in dark ink.  Or, better yet, use a label maker (available at office supply stores for about $50).
    • Use an open filing cabinet (available on wheels), desktop filing box, or crate so that you can continue to enjoy a horizontal format, but have the benefits of a vertical filing system.

    Why learn how to become a functional piler?

    • You’ll be able to lay your hands on papers you need much more quickly. You can’t quickly find papers in a dysfunctional pile (one that contains papers pertaining to many different types of subjects or activities).
    • Your space will feel much more peaceful. Dysfunctional piles are very noisy. Since everything is alive with energy, every piece of paper has a different type of energy. Put them all together and you have a screaming crowd. Compared to a pile of just one type of paper, e.g. tax related papers, a mixed pile is a jumble of energy that you’ll tend to avoid. If you have a number of dysfunctional piles in the same room, you’re likely to feel overwhelmed by the riot of energy and the visibility of so much paper.
    • You’ll feel more competent and less anxious about dealing with paper. A room filled with paper piles seems to scream, “You slob! Do you really know what you’re doing?” or “You really are behind. Why aren’t you doing something about this mess?” Papers sorted into piles by category or filed away in a step sorter or open filing system have an orderly and affirming energy that is much quieter and calmer than mixed piles with no specific identities.

    If you are a piler, commit to learning more effective ways to keep your papers visible and accessible while reducing the negative energy that emanates from multiple piles. Two functional piles are much quieter than two mixed piles. An open filing system is quieter than any piling system. Remember, there are options available that will meet your need for visibility and will help you retrieve the papers you need in seconds. Make the time to organize your piles into a system that really works for you.

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    Last Updated on August 20, 2018

    The Importance of Time Management: 8 Ways It Skyrockets Your Success

    The Importance of Time Management: 8 Ways It Skyrockets Your Success

    No matter how you slice it, there are only 24 hours in a day. Time is a finite resource, and it’s up to you to make the most of it.

    If you lose money, you might get a chance to make it back; but a wasted hour is irreplaceable.

    While we can’t add hours to our day, I can help you understand the importance of time management, and how time management helps you maximize the time you do have. This isn’t just a skill for entrepreneurs to master. Everyone could benefit from managing their time more effectively and appreciating it for the finite resource that it is.

    The importance of time management

    The importance of time management comes down to how much it impacts your personal and professional life. Time management is organizing your day so that you find the best use for every moment.

    Excellent time management allows you to create a healthy balance in your workflow and home life.[1] The consequences of failed time management include missing deadlines and living with excessive stress.

    Even if you’ve failed to manage your time in the past, it’s never too late to change. Set deadlines, get organized, delegate tasks, and prioritize your to-do list to get the most value from your time.

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    Why time management matters to you

    With the right time management skills and tools, you will experience a lot of benefits from good time management. Here are 8 reasons why you should start to manage time better:

    1. Do more with less

    Knowing how to manage your time means that you’ll be able to accomplish more in shorter periods of time with less effort. Think about how much more you accomplish when you truly focus.

    Prioritizing and matching tasks to blocks of available time is one way to do more with less effort. Instead of trying to do deep work in the ten minutes between meetings, complete a minor task. This frees up larger blocks for projects that require concentration.

    If you find an extra hour of productivity in your day by using your time wisely, that gives you an additional 250 productive hours at work every year.[2]

    2. Make work fulfilling and life meaningful

    There’s nothing more frustrating than spending a day being completely busy but also entirely unproductive. A feeling of accomplishment helps you stay motivated at work. At home this translates into being able to relax and enjoy your time.

    By being conscious of how you use time, you’ll have more of it to spend on the things you love.

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    3. End indecisiveness

    Worrying about whether you have made the right choice can be time-consuming. Naturally, big decisions take up a lot of time but the small decisions you make every day can also be huge time-wasters. Deciding what to do next on your to-do list, for example, can have a major time cost.

    Instead of staring blankly at your to-do list wondering what to tackle, create a plan or a routine.[3] This keeps you from using any of your precious minutes questioning what you should do next.

    4. Achieve goals faster

    Many people have big goals to feel fulfilled. But without understanding the importance of time management, these goals could sit on the shelf indefinitely.

    For example, perhaps one of your goals is to lead a healthier lifestyle but you can’t seem to carve out time for gym sessions. Chances are, the time you need already exists. You just have to find it. By making the time to attend to your health, you can make necessary and desirable changes quickly.

    5. Boost confidence

    Time management can improve your confidence. You’re more likely to take care of yourself properly if you have the time to do so. You’ll look and feel more put together before you even set foot into your work space.

    In addition, you’ll get a regular boost from feeling a sense of accomplishment. Meeting your deadlines and exceeding expectations is a huge motivator. On the flip-side, failing to meet deadlines and struggling to keep up leads to burnout.[4]

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    6. Have more energy to achieve more

    Constantly feeling worn out and stressed is miserable. It also makes it hard to take on new challenges. An efficient workflow gives you the time to build new skills to improve your work.

    This doesn’t only apply to work, though. Think of how much more exciting life is when you feel energized. With a boost of energy, you’re more likely to try a new hobby or go on an adventure instead of planting yourself on the couch.

    7. Make more time to do the things you love

    After you consider the amount of time that it takes for you to sleep, work, eat, commute and attend to your personal hygiene, you have about four hours per day to devote to the things you do for fun.

    By learning to manage your time, you’ll have more opportunities to work on personal growth, spend time with family or visit friends. This quality time is priceless.

    8. Reduce stress and avoid feeling overwhelmed

    In a given day, you might be tasked with creating a mock up for a project, taking your child to practice, leading a discussion at work and buying groceries. When every task on your to-do list seems equally important, you’ll become overwhelmed.

    Good time management allows you to look at your to-do list, categorize, and prioritize everything that’s expected of you. You’ll readily see the distinctions between work-related and personal tasks. You’ll know whether you can delegate some tasks or shuffle items so that you can be more effective.

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    The result is a calmer and more-accomplished you.

    Start managing your time

    Time isn’t an infinite resource for us. By becoming excellent at time management, everyone can make the most of the time they are given. Failing to manage your time means a lot of time wasted and you can never get it back. Succeeding opens a world of possibilities.

    By sharpening your time management skills, you can expect to be more confident and effective at work. You will feel a strong sense of purpose when you produce your best work.

    You’ll also have more time to spend with your family, take care of your own health and wellness. Overall speaking, you’ll drastically improve your life!

    Find out how you can boost your time management skills here: 20 Quick Tips For Better Time Management

    Effective time management leaves you energized, which translates into living fully and trying exciting things in the new time you’ve found in your day.

    Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

    Reference

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