15-Minute Strategy: Conquering the paper mountain

04 Feb
Defeat the paper mountain  15-Minute Strategy: Conquering the paper mountain images 6

Conquering the paper mountain

I’ve just spent a delicious morning ‘de-composing’.

I’m smart enough to deal with my bills and admin stuff as they come in, but I end up with a pile of ‘filing’ that grows to toppling point. Funnily enough, by the time it reaches that point, most of the papers are defunct and no longer need to be kept. Meetings have been had, phone calls have been made, bills have been paid, invoices have been sent and so many other little tasks. But collectively, they build up to a mountain of papers that need a fundamental decision to be made… “Keep or Chuck” 

As part of my 15-Minute Strategy, I’ve been conquering the mountain by making that decision many, many times today. Some things can simply be discarded; you know, the fliers you thought might come in handy, take away menus, pamphlets about interesting things. Some can be shredded because they’ve been dealt with but have personal information. Some need to be kept as a record – but even then, do I need to keep a piece of paper?

In most cases the answer is “Chuck them out and get rid of the paper”. However, there’s no need to lose all record of the transactions. Firstly, they’re probably held in a computer file or account by the people who sent you the parper version. Alternatively, like for receipts, I take a scanned copy and keep them in an electronic file in my Evernote system. I therefore have the record, but NOT the paper.

So, I now have a nice tidy desk. My ‘in/out’ trays are splendidly empty. I have a neat electronic copy of all my records and a nice sack of confetti for the re-cycling bin.

Life is good

Send me a comment, or ask me if the 15-Minute Strategy would work for you

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  1. 15-Minute Strategy: Managing the Gremlins | Epiphanies - February 15, 2014

    […] regain control. We learned about a simple ‘Keep or Chuck” tactic in the last posting (http://epiphanies.com.au/2014/02/04/15-minute-strategy-conquering-the-paper-mountain/) and that helped to reduce the pile of tasks considerably. However, the ones that are left are the […]

  2. 15-Minute Strategy: Procrastinators bible | Epiphanies - April 7, 2014

    […] The Mountain: We’ve procrastinated so long that we now have a huge list (or ‘mountain’) of things that have piled up on us. Seen all together, the mountain looks impossible and we feel defeated, even before we start. So, the answer is usually to sit back down, have a coffee (or a wine) and make another list. Not surprisingly, nothing changes. […]

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