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Dealing with One of the Most Challenging Forms of Clutter: Paper Clutter.

Paper clutter

Paperwork is one of the toughest forms of clutter to vanquish.

Often, it’s much more anxiety-provoking and draining than going through a clothes closet or a desk drawer.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Dealing with One of the Most Challenging Forms of Clutter: Paper Clutter.

Dealing with One of the Most Challenging Forms of Clutter: Paper Clutter.

https://gretchenrubin.com/2019/04/dealing-with-paper-clutter

gretchenrubin.com

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Key Ideas

Paper clutter

Paperwork is one of the toughest forms of clutter to vanquish.

Often, it’s much more anxiety-provoking and draining than going through a clothes closet or a desk drawer.

To decide what to keep

Ask yourself:

  • Do you actually need this piece of paper or receipt? 
  • Will it quickly become dated?
  • Will I find a replacement on the internet? For example, instruction manuals.
  • What’s the consequence of not having it if you do need it?
  • Could you scan it, so that you have a copy if you need it?
  • At work or at home, does someone else have a copy of this information?

Worrying about regret

Some people think they'll regret getting rid of papers and wished they'd kept some of it.

You can create a holding box: put papers in that box for six months—or even a year, if you're really worried—and see if you ever need to retrieve anything from that box. If you don't, get rid of the box

Getting too organized

We want to get organized, but not too organized.

Don't make files so specific that you can't find anything later, or so that you spend all your time labeling files.

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Categories of Organizing
Categories of Organizing
  1. Documents. The way you name your files can dramatically improve the organization of both your physical and your digital documents. Be consistent with file naming. 
  2. ...
Measuring Productivity

The best gauge of being well organized, "is just the lack of anxiety that comes from a clean comfortable workspace where you feel like things aren't piling up and overwhelming you."

The Sources of Clutter

Common sources of clutter for entrepreneurs include business cards, printouts from the Web, and literature from conferences and seminars.

A good way to get rid of clutter is to turn each piece of paper that you're keeping around into an action item in your planner. 

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Time

Clutter drains you of your time. If you live in a cluttered place, you will spend extra time looking for lost items: keys, money, shoes, tools, etc. 

And even when you’r...

Money
  • When you don’t have financial papers organized, bills can get lost, causing you to accrue fees for being late with the payments.
  • Replacing lost items and buying duplicates of those we didn’t realize we already had can carry a cost that adds up quickly.
Stress

Examples of stress clutter can cause:

  • Having guests over becomes an embarrassment or an event that takes all-day preparation.
  • Each room carries visual reminders of all the work that needs to be done in the way of cleaning.
  • According to the principles of feng shui, clutter drains you of your positive energy.

3 more ideas

1. Rewrite It

Spend 5 minutes each morning preparing your task list to have only accomplishable tasks that fit the time you have available. Keep other tasks on a holding list for another day.

2. Be Laser Focused

Set a timer for 15 minutes, shut out the world and concentrate with intense focus on one and only one task. Closing your door and turning off your phone and internet are specially important.

3. Let Go Of Tasks

Recognize that not everything in your list must be done. When in doubt, delete it from your list; if it is important you’ll eventually add it back.

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