Organize + Energize: What’s In Those Piles of Paper?
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
You have piles of paper at home and at work. You haven’t had the motivation or time to tackle them, so they just continue to grow. Do you have any idea what information is in those piles? You may be surprised at what you find. By the time you finish reading this article, you may find you are motivated to make a plan to tackle those piles. What could be hiding in there?
Important documents that you had been searching for but were unable to locate.
Almost every client I work with will say “I was looking for that!” or “I forgot I had that.” Do you know where your passport or birth certificate is located? How long would it take you to find them? Once you get these piles under control, develop a working, organized filing system so you will never have to search aimlessly for an important document again.
Business opportunities that you could have profited from in some way.
There may have been an important opportunity in one of those piles, but you've only just now located it at the bottom of a pile and the opportunity has since passed. Get your paper under control and you will never miss out on important opportunities.
An invitation to an important event.
You were invited to an event 3 months ago and you just found the invitation now. The event has passed and you may have missed out on a great night!
Money, checks, gift cards, etc.
If you have piles of papers in your home or at work, I can guarantee there is money in all forms in those piles. Get organized and never lose money again!
Getting it together
Even if you state you know what is in your piles, how long does it take you to find something in that pile? Does it take you longer than a few seconds to locate it?
Have you ever had a co-worker or manager come into your office and ask you for an important document? Did you sweat it out thinking where you did you put it? Even worse, was your client sitting in front of you as you searched aimlessly through the piles for a file?
Do you think clients that visit your office form an opinion about how you function at work? Do you have piles of paper all over the office, on the floor, desk, and bookshelves? Remember, you never get a second chance to make a first impression, and your client is going to wonder if their information is going to get lost in those piles or even worse—their information gets lost or mixed in with another client. They are going to wonder how efficient you will be with handling their business.
I think people would just rather continue to build up those piles than to actually spend the time to tackle the project. I think the whole process is too overwhelming for some.
It’s time to tackle that paper clutter. You have to set up these working organized systems if you want to function without paper piles in the future. The process of tackling the paper will be the same for everybody, but everybody has different ways of functioning and everybody’s system will be different. Make it work for you.
Related Slideshow: 5 Organizing Blunders
Avoid these mistakes and your project will take less time than you expected. You won’t be as stressed or as overwhelmed as you anticipated. You will be amazed at what you have accomplished. You will be motivated and energized to tackle another project.
Not planning ahead
Getting organized is a process and you have to have a plan on how to conquer your project. You can’t tear apart an entire room all at once. You need to break the project down into small pieces. Plan to tackle your project in 3-hour increments. If you work longer than 3 hours at a time, you are setting yourself up for burnout. Plan ahead to try to avoid distractions and stay focused.
Purchasing the incorrect supplies
I know you are excited to get organized, but don’t rush out to the store and purchase products just because you like the way they look. Get organized first. Figure out what you need to contain, and then purchase your container to match the items you need it to hold.
Not letting others know about your system
Once you set up the organized system, you have to get everybody in your home on board. Show them the systems and how you are going to function with this system going forward. Label everything if you must, so everybody gets in the habit of putting items away. Remember, the simpler the system, the easier it’s going to be to maintain.
Kristin Carcieri-MacRae, the founder and owner of Organizing in RI, has always enjoyed finding creative ways to streamline the environment around her. She has appeared on air on Patricia Raskin's Positive Business Radio and her articles have been published in the Rhode Island Small Business Journal and New England Home Life. Kristin's CD, Organizing Basics, is a 1-hour guide for the person who wants to get organized but doesn't know where to start. She is also available for organizing workshops. Tune into her weekly radio show, Organize, Energize! on Mondays at 8:30am on www.talkstreamradio.com.
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