Office clutter tends to multiply like bunnies or grow like weeds. It is not all about the way things look. Excessive clutter makes your business less productive and less profitable.
Now, you may not be an expert at organizing, but making sure that your business is better organized still needs to be a strong consideration, especially if things are starting to get out of control.
Despite the great things that technology has brought to businesses large and small, the need for paper lives on. Most business owners are on info overload. They work long hours and do not think that much about simple productivity issues or about how or why things get done.
Many of my business clients end up with a back log of paperwork because it is just the last thing for them to look at. Sometimes it is important paperwork and sometimes it is not. Usually, it is all jumbled together and the client is not really sure what is important and what is not. This causes concern in the back of the mind.
In the past, I have introduced various strategies for going through your backlog of paper and making decisions. Different strategies resonate with different people. Pick the one that resonates with you the most.
Here is a five-step approach to dealing with office paperwork : DRAFT, for Discard, Refer, Act, File and Table.
1) Discard: If it's something you'll never look for again, get rid of it, don't file it. Make your files a “resource haven,” not a dead storage place.
2) Refer: If this is information that someone else needs or you can delegate, pass it along.
3) Act: If it requires action by you. Is it something that will take 30 seconds to do? Do it now! If not, put it in your action system.
4) File: If it's important and you will truly need it later, file it in a complete filing system. A “complete” filing system is one that will allow you to find things quickly later.
5) Table: If it's something you'll need in the near future (but not today), place it in a simple follow-up system for easy, quick access. You can use your action system for this one as well.
I want to spend just a moment more on this last one. This does not mean, “I don't want to decide, so I'll table it.” It means that you have information that you need for a project or event but you do not need right now. For example, if you have tickets to an event for a month from now. You don't need to take action because the tickets are in your hand, but you don't want to lose them either.
What do you think of this system? Have you done anything similar? Let me know by commenting in the comment section!