Friday, November 13, 2009
On any given day when you come into my apartment you can see: I live with a paper problem! If I look at my parents paper habits while I was growing up, it is easy to see why. Stacks of things to read, file, bills to pay, you name it! As an adult on my own, I soon realized it was a problem I had inherited!!
Online articles printed to read, used books, magazines, mail, receipts, catalogs, my creative and freelance writing all took up residency in my apartment in a big way. I found it would take me hours to sort through my "papers" and it was always something on my to do list.
I was holding on to things that I wanted to read, not opening mail, letting it pile up and constantly "moving" papers around instead of actually DOING something with them. Granted, a lot of the items were important and needed to be kept or filed, but I felt I had to hold on to everything.
After reading a number of clutter books and a little serious inventory of my junk, I was able to see that purging (not storing) was the only key to being free from things and papers. Today the issue is on a much smaller scale for me and usually just involves reading material. Mail gets opened and read, important documents filed (eventually), junk recycled right away! I love reading books, mags, articles so those things still rear their ugly heads:
This is my CURRENT reading stack, sitting next to me as I blog!
But, one of my biggest problems of late is: post-it notes! I come home from work, the weekend or the store with lists of things to do, read, look up & check out, all on post it notes that are everywhere. Here is the stash from my purse:
These are easy to lose, hard to work off of and in NO order.
Sometimes these ideas are months out or don't even get used--some are brainstorm ideas and some legit to-do's that I have to remember. Here on the post-its, the must and the maybe get jumbled.
From here, these get jotted down in a note book or a to-do list for me to work from. Constantly rewriting lists only creates another paper problem so, I decided last week to set up a new system! Behold D.E.B or the 7$ Dry Erase Board solution!!
D.E.B hangs right at my front door so that when I come in the house, I can grab it and go to my room, the kitchen--anywhere and write down my thoughts or easily wipe away tasks I have completed!
1) Save on paper! No more post-it's or notebooks of to-do lists! When I need to remember something, I am going to send myself a voicemail so that I can take 5 min every night and update D.E B.
2) Help me keep my must and maybe categorized! I have 4 pen colors and have split D.E.B. into 4 columns that I need to currently focus on. The Green column is my upcoming trip to Germany and will be wiped away after I am back. Viola! No more killing 4 trees to remember to pack extra socks.
3) Provide me with better direction so I am more productive in general. For instance the pink column are thoughts for Fit this, girl! When I am blogging, I can grab D.E.B. and sit her next to me at the computer and go to town on my list!
Be Brave, change can be a challenge!
But that is why I have included a little ticker tape of inspiring and encouraging words along the bottom. It was pointed out to me that I use a few phrases often that are not very positive so I am focusing on words that convey the opposite of these!! This old dog can do more than learn new tricks!
With other paper's I am still following the DRAFT method!
Discard like with junk mail
Refer to someone else to handle
Act on it right then and there (touch something once)
File it away if you will need to reference it later
Table it in an action folder that you revisit every week
on a p.s. note, I thought you would like what I wrote to test the pens.