1. Touch paper once (or as little as possible!) - Even though many of us operate in a "soft" -E world, paper still manages to find its way to many of our desks. If you do have to touch paper - touch it once and figure out what are you are going to do with it right away. Will you file it? Does it need to move on or require action?
2. Keep on top of email - Email can be a huge time consumer. With hundreds popping into our in box it can seem like a never ending process. There are some big picture considerations such as can there be specific times when you are committing to working with email? do you have agreements that urgent issues should be called, rather than just emailed? Finding a way to touch it as minimal as you need to is another useful strategy. Rather than reading through everything and then replying to each one, can you scan and address most urgent issues first, responding to each one in turn before moving to the next one? File as you go so this does not become another step. Read, action, close, move on, repeat!
3. Use a schedule - Scheduling can be quite a personalized thing. Some of us swear by paper, others by our phone. Select a system that that has a back-up and works for you.
4. Figure out when you want to deal with filing and schedule it - For some, filing can be a key chore that gets left behind, whether it's paper or digital. Figure our when you would like to focus on filing and what approach will work best for you.
5. Clear the clutter - clutter can take many forms from piles of paper, to many post it notes, to mental clutter with projects that are "hanging". Take some time this week to clear the clutter and notice the impact it has.
6. Block off time each week, even fifteen minutes, to keep on top of what's going to help you be most productive. We often think that it's once and done when in fact, regular attention and focus are important. When do you want to put attention on this each week?
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