Daily Archives: October 28, 2008

OK, I Guess Everyone Must Be Busy

so I’ll go ahead and make some suggestions myself.

Keep a basket on the counter to put today’s important papers into. At the end of each day, take five minutes to put each paper into its own place, a place you have designated ahead of time, otherwise, you may end up with the result I often end up with — an EXCELLENT place to put something right now, but later I can’t remember where that excellent place is.

Allow yourself some particular amount of time to read an interesting article or magazine. Maybe a week? Maybe a month. But resolve that you will discard the item if it has not been handled within the time frame. Perhaps a post-it with the “due” date on it will be a good visual reminder of what needs to be handled promptly.

For important paper systems, in my case, the flex spending and Kepler’s paperwork, for two examples, keep a notebook with the papers filed chronologically and a summary page in the front. (Now, that sounds hunky-dory and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to someone, but is it really possible to keep up with these kinds of systems?)

Use a tickler file. 31 files with the numbers 1-31 representing the days of the month. File papers in the appropriate day, like in the date file you need to mail the item. And put all those items with “due” duates into the tickler file as well.

Realize that you can’t read everything. As you are whittling down your piles, think about each item — why are you reading it? What do you want from it? What do you think you will get from reading this? And what will you do with that info after you read it?

So, that will get me started. Feel free to chime in at any time.

Button, Button, Who’s Got the Doggone Kroger Card Report?

I am drowning in paper. If it’s not the 9 foot long library receipt, it’s the six inch long receipts from Kroger and Office Max and Walgreen’s and Lowe’s (no, wait, Lowe’s receipts are always at least two feet long even if you only buy one thing), Michael’s, Target, and if it’s not the receipts, it’s the wonderful magazines and articles that are crying to be read or the papers I need to keep track of for reimbursements and rebates and returns, and if it’s not the articles and rebate forms, it’s the adorable pictures and papers drawn and written by my children over the course of their combined 53 years and as you know, FIFTY-THREE YEARS of accumulation is a LONG time.

So, how to get a handle on this situation? I have papers in every nook and cranny, on every flat surface, and in every drawer and file. And, to top it all off, the Kroger report, that I REALLY NEED, is missing. I sort of remember it coming in the mail, and I maybe put it on top of the microwave, and then alertly moved it to the other counter, then alertly put it in the family room when I cleaned off the counter, etc., etc. The problem is, I DO have a Kroger Card file into which I really think I would have put such a thing.

Please, dear readers, all thousand of you, please give me your most pithy, succinct way to get this paper avalanche under control. Oh, by the way, I DO throw a lot of things away. Help Help Help!!