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The Tickler Action File

The Tickler Action File
Tickler File

A common practice with tickler files is throwing everything required for a particular day in one file, without any distinguishing labels or notes to differentiate what action is required for each item.

Usually it’s enough to see a bill and know you have to pay it; but what if the actions aren’t so clear?

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When using a tickler file, you want to be able to quickly, for instance at the beginning of the day, open it up, action what’s in there and then get on with your day.

What labeling each item will do is make this process simpler because each item will instantly tell you what you must do with it; instead of umming and ahhing about what you need to do with it.

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The two ways to do this would be either creating new folders for each action – to pay, to read, send etc – or labeling everything that goes in each day.

I think labeling works best because you can instantly integrate that into your existing tickler file and add new actions on the fly.

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Karen Roehl at AddResources.org has some examples of what we’re talking about:

  • Pay—a place to put invoices or bills until they are paid
  • Read
  • Discuss—a folder to put notes in for weekly meetings with the same person. If you meet with several people weekly, you may have individual folders with their names on them
  • Send—letters to write, returns
  • Errands—a folder to hold shopping lists, claim receipts, etc.
  • Call—a place to store phone messages until you have time to return calls
  • Data Entry—addresses, phone numbers, business cards to enter into address book and/or contact management system
  • Calendars—calendars for classes, school schedules, etc.
  • I would even consider a color coding system if you have a few common actions you want to keep in order for each day.

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    How to Create a Customized Tickler File System – [AddResources]

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    Craig Childs

    Craig is an editor and web developer who writes about happiness and motivation at Lifehack

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    Last Updated on November 19, 2019

    7 Signs That You’re Way Too Busy

    7 Signs That You’re Way Too Busy

    “Busy” used to be a fair description of the typical schedule. More and more, though, “busy” simply doesn’t cut it.

    “Busy” has been replaced with “too busy”, “far too busy”, or “absolutely buried.” It’s true that being productive often means being busy…but it’s only true up to a point.

    As you likely know from personal experience, you can become so busy that you reach a tipping point…a point where your life tips over and falls apart because you can no longer withstand the weight of your commitments.

    Once you’ve reached that point, it becomes fairly obvious that you’ve over-committed yourself.

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    The trick, though, is to recognize the signs of “too busy” before you reach that tipping point. A little self-assessment and some proactive schedule-thinning can prevent you from having that meltdown.

    To help you in that self-assessment, here are 7 signs that you’re way too busy:

    1. You Can’t Remember the Last Time You Took a Day Off

    Occasional periods of rest are not unproductive, they are essential to productivity. Extended periods of non-stop activity result in fatigue, and fatigue results in lower-quality output. As Sydney J. Harris once said,

    “The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.”

    2. Those Closest to You Have Stopped Asking for Your Time

    Why? They simply know that you have no time to give them. Your loved ones will be persistent for a long time, but once you reach the point where they’ve stopped asking, you’ve reached a dangerous level of busy.

    3. Activities like Eating Are Always Done in Tandem with Other Tasks

    If you constantly find yourself using meal times, car rides, etc. as times to catch up on emails, phone calls, or calendar readjustments, it’s time to lighten the load.

    It’s one thing to use your time efficiently. It’s a whole different ballgame, though, when you have so little time that you can’t even focus on feeding yourself.

    4. You’re Consistently More Tired When You Get up in the Morning Than You Are When You Go to Bed

    One of the surest signs of an overloaded schedule is morning fatigue. This is a good indication that you’ve not rested well during the night, which is a good sign that you’ve got way too much on your mind.

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    If you’ve got so much to do that you can’t even shut your mind down when you’re laying in bed, you’re too busy.

    5. The Most Exercise You Get Is Sprinting from One Commitment to the Next

    It’s proven that exercise promotes healthy lives. If you don’t care about that, that’s one thing. If you’d like to exercise, though, but you just don’t have time for it, you’re too busy.

    If the closest thing you get to exercise is running from your office to your car because you’re late for your ninth appointment of the day, it’s time to slow down.

    Try these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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    6. You Dread Getting up in the Morning

    If your days are so crammed full that you literally dread even starting them, you’re too busy. A new day should hold at least a small level of refreshment and excitement. Scale back until you find that place again.

    7. “Survival Mode” Is Your Only Mode

    If you can’t remember what it feels like to be ahead of schedule, or at least “caught up”, you’re too busy.

    So, How To Get out of Busyness?

    Take a look at these articles to help you get unstuck:

    Featured photo credit: Khara Woods via unsplash.com

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