Go through ALL of the emails currently in your inbox, one by one, and decide what you need each email for. Create folders in your inbox with the following names and move each email into the appropriate folder once you make the decision on each of them.
So what should you keep and how long should you keep it? Following is a list of documents and suggested retention times offered by the Better Business Bureau (BBB):
If your filing system consists of piles of paper on the kitchen counter, or bulging file folders in an unlocked drawer, you could be setting yourself up for identity theft, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns.
This is the “after” picture of the files. As you can see, we broke the files down into sections using colored hanging folders, and we even put the filing tabs in a straight row for each section. This makes locating and returning files much quicker, and eventually without much thought at all.
This is a before picture of the filing system of a very busy, overwhelmed executive client of ours. The problem she was struggling with is a very common problem with entrepreneurs, her business grew very quickly. Doesn’t sound like a problem, does it? Actually it’s a good problem to have, but it causes a great deal of everyday stress because there are no systems in place to track or complete the endless amounts of office work you have as a business owner.
Look at the dramatic difference in this after picture from our Messiest Desk Contest. Imagine how much more productive the client will be now that they are organized and not distracted by all of the visual clutter.
One of our areas of expertise, and an area we love to coach people on is paper management and workflow. So many people struggle in this area. It’s a real joy to be able to teach someone how simple it really can be to be more productive if you take the time to set up systems and processes for your paperwork, tasks and stuff.