Chamber News & Views Aug. 9, 2018

Published on: August 8, 2018

I’ll file that. Someday.

By LYNNE CONLAN

Executive Director, Sun City Center Area Chamber of Commerce

Do you hate to file? I see hands going up all over town. At home or in the office, piles of paper are stacking up without a forever home in sight.

If we were smart, we’d follow that old office rule that reminds us to touch each piece of paper only once. That means, you must decide in that instant if it’s a keeper or not. If not, recycle or shred immediately. And then you’re done. If you must keep it, you’re going to have to file it. Well, someday.

I’ve read many articles that say the best way to get your filing done is to make it fun. That is insane. Filing is not, nor will it ever be, fun. That’s like saying, make your root canal fun. Or make that new diet fun. Some things just are not fun. So, let’s just concentrate on getting it done. Save your fun for something that’s actually fun like a vacation or going out to dinner.

Let’s pretend you have already recycled or shredded what you can live without. Then, I’d recommend putting everything into a big pile. Or in my case, several huge piles. And if your current file folders are a mess, put them in one of those piles. Go through everything one piece at a time. You might even find some more stuff for the shredder. Think: Less to file.

This tip won’t work at home. But in your office, figure out if you can forward that piece of paper to someone else. The overall goal here is to get it off your desk. 

Check to see if your filing system is the culprit. Is it too complicated or unclear? If you have a file labeled “other” it may be your filing system that needs work. I’ve seen it all and done it all. I’ve tried color coding, alphabetizing, and sorting by category and topic. Figure out what works best for you and stick with what you decide. 

Pick a consistent day or time to file. You will dread that day or time, at first. But it forces you to get ’er done. Rewards work, as well. Fill three file folders, get a cookie. Fill four, take a quick break to check Facebook.

But once you get a handle on the whole filing mess, don’t backslide. Going forward, always keep file folders and labels close at hand. Then when you get that new piece of paper, put it in a folder and slap a label on it. Now, I’ve got to run. It’s my filing day. 

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