Archive for mystery pile

Six Organizing Systems Everyone Needs — System #4: Paper Flow

overflowing paper inboxHow well are your organizing systems working for you?

In the introduction to this series I shared the following:

What is a system?
What 6 organizing systems do I think everyone needs?
What 5 questions can you ask yourself to see if your systems are still working for you, or if they need tweaking?

Now let’s take a closer look at each system…

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Busting the Top 10 Organizing Myths

P1030244As part of my 10-year celebration of being in the organizing business, I thought I’d revisit this old blog post and see if I still agreed with myself. I do.

Don’t believe everything you think!  Here are the top 10 organizing myths, along with the truth and some helpful links to related blog posts and  flow charts.

Organizing Myths #1 & 2:  Neat equals organized.  &  Messy equals disorganized.

Truth:  Not necessarily! 

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How to Live and Work by Design, not by Default

Living and working BY DEFAULT means choosing the easiest path, either by unconsciously resorting to bad habits, or by maintaining the status quo. Sometimes we seek to avoid the conflict that can come with making a change. Sometimes we feel we have no choice in the matter. But I’m with Henry Ford, who said, “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you are right.”

Those who live and work BY DESIGN notice when things aren’t going well, and make adjustments accordingly. They live more calmly, purposefully, and mindfully.

Here are some examples: (more…)

Inbox Zero, Really? (How to Declutter Your Email Backlog and Keep it Under Control)

Inbox Zero – WHAT?  Have you heard of Merlin Mann’s “Inbox Zero” method, whereby one processes the items in one’s email inbox down to zero emails on a regular basis? Is this possible? Yes. Is it necessary? Well, let’s just say that some version of it — Inbox Zero, Inbox Twenty, Inbox Weekly, or my version — No More Than One Screen of Emails in My Inbox — is necessary for me if I want to stay on top of my workload and my sanity. Whatever your comfort level is, the following tips will help you declutter and maintain your inbox. (more…)

Being Organized Isn’t Easy

Is it?

Yes, you heard me right. Getting, being, and staying organized isn’t easy, not if “easy” means “requiring no effort”. When did I ever say that?!

Being organized means living your life by design, not by default. It does takes some time and effort.  (more…)

How to Create Your Own Simple Filing System

No two people are alike, and no two filing systems need to be either.  Create your own unique filing system using the S.P.A.C.E.* method: (more…)

Mystery Piles & Action Files

action fileHave you ever heard the organizing rule, “Touch each piece of paper only once”?  (a.k.a. OHIO — Only Handle it Once) Well, it’s a myth. But the kernel of truth inside the myth is this: If you sift through a pile of mail, or other type of papers, and if you don’t decide the first time you touch it what ACTION needs to take place NEXT, you will just have to sift through the pile all over again later. Pretty soon you will end up with what I call a mystery pile. It keeps growing, and who knows what’s in there?

So, what is the easiest way to vanquish mystery piles – and the missed deadlines and opportunities they usually represent? By using an action file!

 

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