Are you buried under paper? Or swimming through your inbox? Both?
We all dream of being in charge of our information, but lets face it, most days, we lose the fight. Why? Did you know that we make more decisions in one day than the average person made in an entire year back in the 1900s?!?!? It’s no wonder we’re going crazy!
When it comes to dealing with information, the problem is more than incoming paper. In a recent Wall Street Journal article on Digital Hoarding, David D. Nowell, a neuropsychologist specializing in attention issues in Worcester, Mass. says when it comes to storing digital files there is so much storage available, “The problem isn’t that it slows down your computer—it slows down your brain.”
Getting a handle on your information-both paper and electronic- can help you clean things up and maintain your sanity. So whatever your preference, the key to trying to get a jump on your information woes is to have systems and prcesses in place to catch information as it comes in and make a decision about what you have to do and when you’re going to do it.
First here are a few tried and true methods for managing paper and electronic information:
- Stop the onslaught of unwanted incoming mail. Use services like Catalog Choice, Paper Karma, DMA The DirectMail.com National Do Not Mail List to get your name off mailing lists.
- If you don’t need it or read it unsubscribe from newsletter lists (except mine LOL).
- Put your technology to work for you and make things talk to each other (aka synchronize your cell phone to your tablet to your computer).
- Think before you print. Email is electronic for a reason. Consider using a second monitor. Most people print a document to use it as reference. Using a second monitor lets you review documents on one screen while you work on the other.
- Match your files electronic and paper files so you reinforce good habits about where to store and look for your information.
- Reduce duplicates and condense files into broad categories. By consolidating your files, it will be easier to find your information with fewer places to look.
- Use a document scanning service to convert your paper, receipts and stacks of business cards to searchable PDFs, indexed expense reports with images and exportable contact lists. My favorite is Shoeboxed.
- If you’re always on the go, use a cloud storage solution so you can easily access the same files from different computers,smartphones or tablets.
Still stuck? Check out the VISIONS Information Action Grid below for ways to handle your incoming information.
|Incoming Information||What to Do with It|
|Requests from Others||
Need more help on managing your information? Click here to request your complimentary consultation with Nicole for some guidance.
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