Last week on the blog I talked about scheduling time in your calendar to tackle paper piles. I would like to add one more layer to this system which optimizes my time:
Categorize papers by the length of time each task will take.
My folders (pictured at right) are labeled:
File (or Scan)
Depending on my mood when the scheduled time comes, I might want to start with the Research or Strategize piles, which kick-starts thought processes that continue throughout the week. (A brilliant thought can strike at any time!) If I don't have the patience for big-picture thinking, perhaps I’ll go through the Quickies pile instead. Sometimes it is more gratifying to be able to knock a few things off my list in a short amount of time. Knowing I’ve scheduled time in my calendar to deal with my papers allows me to put those nagging piles out of my mind when I need to focus on more important work first.
There are myriad ways to sort and categorize since our brains work differently. Sorting papers by type is also a great option, allowing you to focus on one topic or project at a time. For example: Business Cards, Receipts, Home Repair, Seminar Notes.
What categories would be most beneficial for you? Remember, I am always here to help you brainstorm!
And if you’re thinking to yourself, “But Rebecca, sorting through my papers still doesn’t sound like fun,” my next post will illustrate how paper piles and coffee dates relate!