Whatever happened to the paperless office? The appearance of the computer was supposed to remove the need for paper in the office, but most people receive more paper documents than ever before.
If you are to avoid drowning in a sea of paper, you need a straightforward and efficient technique for managing it.
Paperwork is causing a problem for you if it distracts you from the task in hand or if you ignore it for as long as possible. It’s also causing a problem if you keep nearly all the documents that come in or print out copies of everything.
An approach to managing paperwork
Ignoring paperwork that lands on your desk, or aiming to store it all, are simply two different ways of failing to manage it. Instead, there is a simple, but powerful approach for managing paperwork. Make a prompt decision about the fate of each document you receive, based on whether it should be:
- passed on,
- thrown away, or
- read through.
The choices contained in the “file, pass on, throw away, read” approach are not, of course, necessarily mutually exclusive. Some documents will need reading thoroughly before filing or passing on; others will not. It may or may not be immediately clear whether a document should be treated as trash.
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