Reduce Your Clutter and Stress With These 5 Keys to Organized Filing

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Reduce Your Clutter and Stress With These 5 Keys to Organized Filing

Reduce Your Clutter and Stress With These 5 Keys to Organized Filing

If you’re like most people, part of your filing system includes stacks of paper. Maybe these are part of your “to be filed” system. Or maybe stacks of paper are your entire filing system.

If you struggle in dealing with all the paper in your life, you’re far from alone. Becoming organized with your files and papers doesn’t require a complicated system. You simply need to develop good habits so you can have a place for everything.

Try this system for keeping your filing organized: 

  1. Reduce first. This first step will eliminate much of your challenge. There’s no point in organizing or filing anything that should be tossed in the trash.
  • Go through all of your unfiled papers, one at a time. Throw out as much as you can and file the rest.
  • Use a simple filing system. A simple, alphabetical filing system seems to work well for everyone. There’s no reason to over-think this step. Just create a file and label it. Put them in your file drawer alphabetically.
  • File everything immediately. Go through your entire pile of papers and file them. In the future, file any papers as soon as you get your hands on them. 
  • If it’s a bill, pay it and then file it. If it’s something that just needs to be filed, then file it. If it’s no longer needed, toss it in the trash.
  • The key is to never create a stack of papers that you plan to deal with in the future. Just deal with them right away to save a lot of aggravation. 
  • Piles of paper reach a critical point where they become too intimidating to deal with. They’re distracting and create stress. They’re also inefficient if you need to find something.
  • Keep all the necessary materials readily available. Always have spare folders on hand. If you need to file something, but need to create a new folder, you’re going to start a pile if you run out of folders. Have spare filing materials ready and waiting.

  • Try to reduce your files over time. With the right approach, you can greatly reduce the number of documents you’re filing each month.
  • Many things can be stored on your computer or online. Check out the “cloud” programs offered by many websites for storing documents.

  • You can probably find all of your banking statements and recurring bills (like utilities) online for several years, too. 

  • Most reference materials, such as software manuals, can be found online. There’s not much that can’t be found with a quick search of the web.
  • Keep digital records of your contact lists, ideas, logs, bills, and household budget.

  • Every time you get a new piece of paper, ask yourself if you really need to keep a hardcopy or is it available online? 
  • Maybe you can scan it and store it on your computer. Ask yourself if you really need the document at all.

Getting your filing system under control is one of the best things you can do for yourself. It makes finding your papers much easier when you need to retrieve them. It also eliminates a lot of clutter from your workspace and your mind.

Stacks of paper are stressful. Get these stacks of paper out of your life and you’ll feel and perform better.You’re also helping the environment when you find a way to reduce and recycle all of the unnecessary paper in your life. 

We simply no longer require copies of every single item that comes along. You’ll be amazed by how much better you feel when you file away your papers immediately.

7 Tips to Beat Procrastination

Is procrastination a serious challenge in your life? Admittedly, it can be difficult to do things we don’t want to do. 

Even when we know that waiting too long will create a lot of challenges, getting started can still seem impossible. Unfortunately, when procrastinating affects your job-related tasks, it can have a negative impact on your professional career as well.

So how can you kick this annoying tendency to put things off and start getting them done instead?

Try these strategies:

  1. Schedule when you’re going to do it. Make an appointment in your calendar for the day and time you’re going to work on the task. This is far more effective than just leaving everything up in the air until the right moment seems to present itself. 
  • Consider scheduling just enough time to get started. A long, unpleasant task can be very difficult to start. Think, “I’m going to work on this for 20 minutes.” That’s easy enough that you should be able to sit down and get busy. Interestingly, once you get started, you’ll probably spend a lot more than 20 minutes on it. Getting starting is the tough part.
  • Make it as easy to get started as you possibly can.

  • Break the task into smaller parts. Larger tasks can seem overwhelming. By dividing the task into manageable parts, it will be psychologically easier to tackle the project. It’s easier to do 10 small things than one big thing.
  • For example, once you’ve done five small things, you know that you’ve completed five things, instead of just starting on the one big thing without deriving any sense of accomplishment. So break that task down into smaller bites.
  • Which part is the most dreaded part? Frequently, there is a small part of the task that is really holding you back. Is it possible to get someone else to take care of that part of the task for you? Can you outsource it? Many times, if someone else handles the part you dread, everything else will fall into place.

  • Pick the best time to do it. We all have times of the day that we’re better at certain tasks. We have times when we’re better at concentrating, others when we’re more creative, and other times when we have more energy. What’s the proper time for you to tackle the task? Do you need quiet and privacy? Do you need access to certain people? 
  • Get what you need to complete it. Make a list of the tools, supplies, and resources that you’ll need to both begin and complete the task. It’s hard to get started when you know you can’t get finished.
  • Reward yourself! Give yourself a reward for completing the task. You’ve earned it! It doesn’t have to be anything big, but we all like a little treat now and then. A little additional motivation never hurt anyone.

Imagine how much better your life would be if you could kick the procrastination habit out the door.Unfinished tasks have a profound effect on your sense of well-being and peace of mind. Living with the stress that procrastination can cause isn’t necessary. Start using the tips above and remove the challenge of procrastination from your life. You’ll be so glad you did!

How to Develop an Empowering Morning Routine

Would you like to feel more in control of your day? Developing a morning routine that will boost your productivity can help you stay on top of your commitments for the day.

Many people benefit from rising early and following a set routine every morning. While this won’t benefit everyone, it might be just what you need to feel more in control of your daily life!

Consider these ideas when developing a morning routine:

  1. Avoid making any drastic changes. Begin this process slowly. Start by waking up just 15 minutes earlier than you normally would. Allow yourself to get used to this over a few days to a week before waking even earlier. Continue this gradually until your goal wake-up time is met. 

  2. Allow yourself to go to sleep earlier. Staying up too late when you’re trying to get up earlier will have negative consequences. Early rising will allow you to go to sleep more easily earlier in the evening so you can work on getting up earlier.
  • Keep your alarm clock away from your bed. If you keep your alarm clock close to your bed, you’ll hit the snooze button and destroy your chances of improving your morning routine. Keep your alarm clock at a distance so you must get out of bed to deal with it and resolve not to climb back under the covers. 

  • Leave the bedroom as soon as your alarm wakes you. Avoid rationalizing going back to bed. Make yourself leave the room. Create a habit, such as to use the restroom as soon as you get up, so you don’t convince yourself to go back to sleep. 

    • By the time you’ve used the restroom or otherwise distracted yourself, you’ll no longer be thinking about going back to bed, so you can proceed with your daily routine. 

  • Have your routine mapped out ahead of time. Plan something important to do first thing in the morning. If you have a specific task at hand early in the morning, then this will motivate you to wake up and get out of bed. 
    • It’s important to have a good reason to wake up in the morning. If you have a plan for your morning, you can slip out of bed and right into your routine. 

  • Follow the same basic routine daily. If you practice the same basic steps every day, you’ll be able to automate many of your early morning tasks to make them easier. 

  • Take advantage of your extra time. Don’t wake up earlier than usual just so you can lounge around and read Facebook updates. Avoid wasting the extra time that you’ve created in your schedule.
  • Instead, get a jump on your day, doing tasks that are best done in the early morning, such as reading, writing, and planning for the day.

Ultimately, you get to decide the best course of action when developing an early morning routine. These seven considerations should steer you in the right direction and can serve as a foundation for your own practice. When you customize and standardize your morning habits, they’ll drive your productivity throughout the day.

End Procrastination Before Opportunities Pass You By

Procrastination is the root of unachieved dreams and success. It’s the most important factor between you and the prize you’ve set your eyes on. But somehow it’s difficult to eliminate it.

For some reason, you may be magnetized by delaying the tasks at hand. The sense that there’s enough time to get things done can be misleading. It can be the difference between celebrated success and shattered dreams.

End procrastination once and for all by slowly taking some steps towards a renewed approach:

  1. Prioritize opportunities. If something isn’t important to you, you’ll probably spend very little time trying to achieve it. That reality is the basis of your priority list. The achievements that really matter most belong at the top. Everything else can fall whenever. And that might even mean falling off the list!

  2. Focus on the things that give you the most inner joy and happiness. Never mind what popular opinion thinks. If something gives you butterflies every time you think about it, that’s what you want to work towards.
  • Once your list is in place, start at the very top. The most important thing deserves the most attention. You’re guaranteed ultimate satisfaction once you achieve it!

  • Break down tasks into achievable bits. It’s easy to put things off because they seem too overwhelming. Your natural instinct may be to shy away from things that are too complex. You can fix this by breaking down your tasks. This makes the prize seem more attainable.

  • Set very small tasks. You may even want to make them daily tasks. Give yourself some time each day to work towards something.

  • Once you’ve checked something off your list, you’ll be one step closer to the prize. The feeling of progress is incomparable!

  • Renew your commitment each day. In order to stay on track, it’s important to maintain commitment to the goal. That can be easily achieved by renewing your commitment each day.

  • When you wake up, remind yourself of your purpose. Take a look at what you’re motivated to achieve. The feeling of excitement about achieving a desired goal is constantly alive. You just need to reengage it regularly.
  • This exercise also helps you to maintain focus on what’s important to you. In fact, you may even find that the spark of a goal fades. This can happen when you realize something you thought was important really isn’t.

  • Daily renewal helps you to zone in on what means the most to you.

  • Reward yourself for each achievement. It’s important to keep yourself engaged and focused on the goal. A great way to do this is to reward yourself. As you achieve each small task, celebrate the progress you’ve made.

  • Make a significant effort to celebrate your achievement. A half-hearted effort isn’t really enough. To maintain commitment, you have to reward yourself well every step of the way.
  • Treat yourself to something you’ve always wanted. Maybe in the past, you avoided spending on it because it “wasn’t worth it.” But now you have every reason to go get it.
  • Being kind to yourself is the best way to motivate continued focus on goals. When you know there’s a reward at the end, you’ll likely commit every ounce of effort necessary.

There are more than enough reasons for you to go after meaningful goals. If you’re honest with yourself, you can easily list them all on a piece of paper. Focus on doing something to move toward you goal today. Leave tomorrow for celebration of today’s success!

7 Simple Ways to Make Your Day More Productive

There are only so many hours in a day. Being more productive means getting more out of the limited time we have available. Despite how productive you might already be, odds are you can enhance your productivity even more. Being more productive can lead to having more time available for life’s more enjoyable activities. Your boss will likely be pleased, too.

These simple ideas can lead to higher levels of productivity:

  1. Use a timer. Before starting a task, take a moment to assess how long it should take. Set a timer for that amount of time and get busy. Using a timer has multiple benefits:
  • It provides an obvious stopping point. You don’t need to watch the clock.

  • You’re less likely to allow distractions to become an issue. It’s easier to put all those distractions aside until the timer sounds or the task is complete.
  • A timer is a wonderful tool for focusing your mind on the task at hand. Try it and you’ll see how much it helps. A timer seems to be especially effective for those with attention and focus challenges.
  • Avoid perfection. Tasks require different levels of quality. You wouldn’t spend 10 minutes trying to get a postage stamp perfectly aligned in the corner of an envelope. As long as it’s somewhere in the top right corner, the letter will get to the proper destination.
  • It’s likely you’re giving some tasks too much time and attention. Ask yourself how good it needs to be and refrain from doing significantly more.
  • Make a to-do list and prioritize. A to-do list forces you to think about what needs to be done.Prioritizing that list will work even better. The 3 most important tasks are usually more important than all the other items on the list combined. Check off each task as you go, and enjoy tracking your progress.
  • Create your to-list the day before. Instead of waking up and trying to figure out how you’re going to spend your day, take a little time at the end of the day to create tomorrow’s to-do list. Your mind will be free to tackle the first task immediately the next morning.

  • Embrace old technology. You’ll probably find it’s faster and easier to use a paper and pen instead of your smartphone for many tasks. You can probably write faster than you can accurately type on that small, virtual keyboard.
  • It’s also easier to keep everything where you can easily see it. Ask yourself if your electronic gadgets make sense for the task at-hand.

  • Close your e-mail and other distracting apps. Making a quick check of your email or Facebook account can quickly turn into 20 minutes or more of lost time. It can be more effective to schedule short, timed breaks to address these common distractions.

  • Limit yourself to one task at a time. Research shows that it’s much more effective to focus on one task at a time. Complete one task before moving on to the next. You’ll get more accomplished and stay focused.

If you effectively use your time to enhance your performance at work, you could also increase your leisure time. Simple ideas can have significant results. Experiment with different options until you find the strategies that are most effective for you.

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