Chaos is the enemy of the time leader. Some more than others need to save everything, but it increases your stress and reduces your efficiency. A long time ago, my friend made a statement that assets always cost you more in time and money than the purchase price. What a true statement. Just think about when you buy a car. After purchase, you need to allow it, secure it, find a place to put it on, fill it with gas, carry out regular maintenance, wash it, etc. One purchase leads to so many other things. The same goes for what we hold or collect in our lives. Taming your paperwork can be one of the best time management skills you can develop.
You can not stop it. Even if you do nothing to create or create a paperwork yourself, you can not stop endless flow coming in your way through the mail or bypass from other people. But you must manage or master it before it takes you and cause unnecessary and unwanted frustration and stress.
Let's start learning your new time management skills to tame paperwork by focusing on how you think or classify it. Whether the paperwork is personal or professional, it needs action now, needs action in the future, never needs an action or something you want to keep for later reference. Start with any pile anywhere and start sorting it out of these four categories. Do it quickly and do not waste time discussing it or think about just being classified into these four categories.
Now I want you to start with the reference room. Limit to no more than six categories for personal or professional references. These categories can be very common in nature. Experts may wish for reference categories related to: industry expertise, marketing, sales and customer service. Know your categories and prepare to store information in these categories. You may need to do this in a file folder, stacker, card folder, or you may even need a separate file cabinet. Guesstimate what will work for you and do another quick type to put these items in their new home. Now, what about a reality check to look at the amount of information you think you need for future reference. If you do not need this information to say for three years, how important can it be. Try to get rid of as much old information as you possibly can. The more you think you need to hold more time it will take you to retrieve this information if you ever need it. If it's very important when you need it, you really need it, so you might want to consider moving it in electronic format as it will be easier to retrieve, and it will not be clogged in life.
I think you know where something is never needed and is not a reference point, the garbage. The only remaining is the one that needs immediate action and those who need action in the future. It is very easy and useful to share items that need future operations in file folders marked for the days of the month and month of the year. Put the items in the folder that represents your best plan when you need to take action. It only understands items that need immediate action. While all other content should be out of sight and out of mind, there are items in front and center where you will be able to access and remove them as you work through them.