I had been notorious for working with a desk full of papers. People would scoff at the mess and I would always say “I know where everything is” and in my defense I usually did. The trouble was that one job gets piled on another job, and then it gets higher and higher. When a new job comes in there is no room to work on it. Jobs were moved around and bits get finished here, pieces get done there, but it was generally a slow messy process. Its not organised chaos, its was just plain old chaos.
The same could have been said for my filing system and incoming mail at home. It would all get piled in my mail pocket until that gets too full to fit any more, then it migrates to another spot where I should then file it, make a note of it, read it, or throw it away. But who has time for that?
These days I am happy to say that I have time for that. With only using as much time as it takes to open my mail each day I have managed to sort out all the incoming mail and keep on top of appointments, invitations, bills, and newsletters.
Here it is!
Sort immediately (bills, invitations, letters, and any items that need further action go into my in tray, statements and summaries can go into the in tray, any other material that I want to read in full also goes into the in tray, any junk can be flicked through and then thrown away).
Once a week I go through the in tray and make a note of all due dates of bills, dates of invitations and RSVPs, and any other actionable material in my diary. Once noted these then go into individual files that sit in the bottom of the in tray for when I need to action them. All other documents are read and filed as necessary.