27 Ways to Leave Your Clutter
Here we are in the information age, with the Web, podcasts, ezines, email, and texing. So why is your workspace still a disaster? To reduce the clutter surronding you, professionally and personally, here are observations and tips to get you on the road to recovery:
* Accept that more information is generated daily than you’ll ever assimilate.
* Delegate some of your reading by providing your designated readers with a list of key words and parameters.
* Read every second or third issue of your key publications.
* Strip down vital information to its least voluminous form.
* Manage the scraps of life and work.
* Use any online aggregaters that filters information for you.
* Break down horizontal piles. Rediscover the top of your desk.
* Create a tickler file for items you want to retain but don’t know where to file. Let the “due” dates be your guide.
* Use creative labeling such as “check after the new fitness center is completed,” “looks important,” or “review in August.”
* Avoid stuffing your physical systems such as filing cabinets and desk drawers.
* Ask, “Will this make a difference?” when you encounter information.
* Ask, “What do I need to accomplish to feel good about leaving today?”
Speed up Snail Mail
* Retain the return address labels of those who have sent you hard copy mail. Use them as your address label back to them.
* Order a stamper that includes your name, phone, and email address.
Reducing Unwanted Solicitations
* When making a purchase by phone, or mail, inform the vendor that you do not wish to have your name added to any type of mailing list.
* Have your administrative staff send form letters to remove you and your staff from junk mail lists. Keep your environment clutter free.
Magazines, Journals, and Periodicals
* Immediately strip down the publications you receive – tear out or photocopy those articles or passages that interest you.
* When magazine subscriptions expire, don’t renew. Wait to see if you miss the magazine. If you don’t, you’ve saved money and time.
* If you do miss a magazine, then re-subscribe. The publication will take you back – in many cases you’ll even receive a better rate.
Higher Order Issues
* Stop focusing on CYA strategies and start focusing on what will propel the organization forward. “Am I sending this because it has recognizable valuable or because I want to be noticed?”
* Focus on spectacular results not appearances.
* Look for ways to eliminate one form, or one line of one form.
* Train each other to stop cc’ing each other by responding:
“I’m not sure why I received this.”
“Please explain the ramifications this has for my department.”
* Include no more than four parties cc’ed per e-mail.
* Appoint a group reader or cloud manager, for publications and information, who posts general news/messages to reduce e-mail clutter.