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Fifty ways to manage time – Part II

Posted by Sathyamurthy www.sathyamurthy.com on December 31, 2005

Dealing with Paper Overload

21. Read with a highlighter in hand. Highlight any actions required (due dates, appointments, etc.) or important information as you read your mail, reports, articles.

22. Keep a file of quick tasks – catalogs to review, short articles to read, forms to sign – and take care of them while you wait for something to print or a meeting to begin.

23. Sort through large paper piles efficiently. Sort them: priority mail, junk mail, magazines, bills, etc. before acting on any of it.

24. Deal with paper as you receive it. On an everyday basis, go through your mail, in-box, e-mail, etc. and sort into the following files: trash/delete, to do, to file, to read and to delegate/refer.

25. Establish a place just for paperwork. Keep it accessible and free of clutter.

26. Make a holding file. Use it to store information when you are awaiting follow- up from someone. If you need to follow-up with someone, mark the followup date and name in your calendar with an (H) after it.

27. Schedule a certain amount of time everyday. To keep up with your ever-growing paper piles, set a time each day, without interruptions, to process.

28. Use a master list. Get rid of those small slips of paper and sticky notes that accumulate on your desk, in your car, on your computer, and add all information to your master list. Review it daily.

29. Think about it. As you go through your day, really think about the way you do things and ask yourself if there is a better way.

30. Utilize lists. Keep running lists in your planner or in a notebook of the following: gift ideas, i.d. numbers, books to read, clothing needs, web sites to review, general ideas, etc.

Filing Pointers

31. Make a list of your current file headings. Can you delete or combine any? If a file is over 2″ thick, break it down into sub-headings.

32. Start each file heading with a noun. E.g., not “house insurance” but “insurance – house.”

33. Think about where you would look to find a certain piece of paper. That should be its file heading.

34. Keep an alphabetized list of all your file folders. Attach it to your filing cabinet for easy reference.

35. Buy a step file organizer for your desk top. In it, place files labeled “to do,” “to file,” “to read,” etc. Other options include: “e-mail to send,” “to enter (computer),” and reference files for associates, employees, spouse.

36. Keep any current project or work in progress in your standing vertical file. Out of sight many times means out of mind.

37. Treat your computer files (especially e-mails) like paper files. Delete if possible or separate into “folders.”

38. Remember this rule: The important part is not how you file but being able to find what you want when you want it.

Click here to read Part I

Click here to read Part III

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