Waste of Time

While there are many things that contribute to effective time management, the ability to find information quickly is at the top of the list when it comes to maximizing your productivity. That being said, one common cause of lost productivity is paper clutter. If you have piles of paper in your office, you are most likely wasting time looking for things and feeling overwhelmed every day.

Without a strategy, paper clutter grows faster than you can deal with it. If you think about the volume of new mail you receive and the paper you generate yourself in the space of a week, it will be clear that simply stashing it somewhere to act on later is futile.

Categorize

The good news is that you can free yourself of paper clutter by working on it a little bit at a time. This simple approach is very effective because you’ll find that taking small steps consistently is less overwhelming and seeing the results of those efforts will keep you motivated.

Action for the week: Schedule at least an hour this week and begin sorting your paper into categories; for example, action, file, toss/shred and delegate. From there, you can process it accordingly.

Keep in mind that this strategy only works when you stick with it, so be sure to schedule a regular time to work on your paper that is realistic for you.