If you are feeling overwhelmed with stacks of paper clutter just remember you are not alone!
People often feel that they may need that document one day or they think, “What if I can’t find <fill in the blank> anywhere ever again?”
The truth is. Any kind of physical clutter that affects your thinking in a negative way will drag you down. It may prevent you from being productive or make you unhappy when you look at it. It slows you down, cramps you up. It makes it hard to move and hard to work.
What can you do to get over these feelings?
- Take a few deep breaths. A long, slow deep breath releases tension, brings clarity, and detoxifies your body (among other things). Whenever you feel the tension building up just stop for a moment and breathe.
- Know that when you have decluttered your area that you will be able to be more productive, you will enjoy your space and you will be able to move and think freely. Doesn’t that sound lovely?
You CAN do this. Seriously. Try the one touch rule. If you touch the binder or the paper make a decision right away. Do not just put it back down or relocate it. That is a waste of your time as then you have to later go back to it and decide what to do with it. Once you have decided to dispose of something, get rid of it right away or have a coworker dispose of it for you.
Remember that 80% of what we file we NEVER look at again! Look at your office as prime real estate. Those papers that you never access are taking up most of your precious space! Keep only what you need, use and love! You can do it!!!
Don’t postpone. Remember, clutter is postponed decisions. What will you know tomorrow that you don’t know today?
Get rid of duplicates. You only need one copy and if you need more then copy them as you need them.
If you haven’t accessed it in a year then chances are you do not need it.
Get rid of old, out of date policies and documents. Remember that many of these can be accessed online and if you aren’t sure where or how to get them then ask a coworker.
Make sure to take frequent breaks as this process can be mentally tiring. Remember to reward yourself for your achievements. (For every shelf take a break, have a cup of tea, show your coworker friends what you are accomplishing!)
Imagine the freedom that you will feel when this task is complete! Envision the clear spaces and empty shelving.
Once you have finished remember to periodically go through the papers. Ask yourself:
1) Is this something that I need to have as a paper copy?
2) Will I use this?
3) Do you enjoy it? Is it something that you will reference that you like?
“Out of clutter,
In the Middle of Difficulty
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