Your ‘Items to File’ folder is the one folder in your filing system that is often abused, making it more likely to fill up quickly and put a stop to your Paper Flow. So why not use these two simple tricks to stop your filing from piling up and to keep it in check?
TRICK ONE: Create a sign that says ‘to be used under emergency conditions only’ and attach this sign to your file. The name of the game is to file a document immediately after using it.
TRICK TWO: Place a ‘ lock’ onto your file in the form of a paperclip, a peg, a bulldog clip or any other item that will ‘lock’ or keep your file closed. The aim of the game is to interrupt your automatic behaviour and to make you think before you file. While ‘unlocking’ the file think about the consequences of adding paperwork to this file.
The sign and lock act as a powerful reminder and deterrent every time you are tempted to add items to your ‘Items to File’ folder. There will, of course be times you must use this file. You should then aim to clear it every day or at a minimum once a week.
Start using this file wisely, stop the abuse and your paperwork will begin to flow again.
MaryAnne Bennie is Australia’s organising guru, creator of the Paper Flow® and in8®steps systems, author of Paper Flow (with Brigitte Hinneberg) and From Stuffed to Sorted, professional organiser trainer and engaging speaker.
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