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Blog: The Nature of Being Organized
Are You Swimming In A Sea Of Paper?

An email from one of the member's in my community prompted me to write about paper this week. She wrote:
"I'm in "clear out the filing cabinets" mode, and have found plenty of papers that I no longer need or can use. The winner so far is a piece of paper with a recommendation for a female doctor in one of my "health" files. I looked her up on the Internet, and found out that she died in 2004, at the age of 84!! How long have I been holding on to this info?? She must have been quite knowledgeable about health, given that she lived to such a respectable age :)"
                                               Claire, NYC
One of our biggest issues around paper is that we value it! We live in an information society and we have become "information junkies". We love to research and collect information, print it out and save it for "future" use. That's not a bad thing and there's plenty of great information out there, but it is part of what perpetuates our problem. If we only save what is truly important and necessary and give it proper homes we're way ahead of the game. When I started out as an organizer one of the most stunning statistics I learned around paper was that eighty per cent of what we file away we never look at again! Shocking!
Here are some simple tips that will help you dig out of your sea of paper and have you kicking up your heels again:
**Instead of printing out information from the computer create a separate file on your computer to store links to articles or information. When you really need it or you can actually sit down and read it, go to your file and pull up the link.
**Google "record retention" to be directed to sites that can help you with which documents to save and which ones to let go.
**Design a mail sorting system that includes: a recycle bin, temporary file, trash bin and shred bin.
**Get honest with yourself about the publications (online and off) you subscribe to. How often are you reading them? Do you have guilt around not being able to read them? Have you been able to live without the information? Choose one that you really value and keep that one.
**Create a filing system that really works for you. There are no "perfect" systems except ones where you can find something and put it away in two minutes or less.
** Take a few minutes to purge your files, computer and hard copy, every few weeks then it won't become an overwhelming time consuming chore.
** Most importantly, shift your beliefs and attitudes around paper. If you believe that paper is the enemy it will be. If you start a paper purging project with a heavy attitude you will have an experience to match. Shift your attitude to one that is light, fun and free. Your relationship with paper will take on a whole new meaning and you'll feel in charge.
Paper can not have control over us unless we allow it. Paper is not the enemy. We can choose to create a whole new way of dealing with it—one piece at a time! Thank you Claire for helping us to remember just how easy it is for us to allow paper to get away from us!
Purge one file folder or create a new home for your paper this week with a new attitude. Let us know about your experience.
Love To You,

posted on: 7/30/2009 12:00:00 PM by Maggie McCauley
category: The Mental Side

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The Nature of Being Organized

by Maggie McCauley

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About Maggie:

Maggie McCauley, ACC, LICSW, The Effortless Organizing Coach, is the president of "A New View". She takes a holistic approach to organizing coaching her clients to create new habits that promote overall well-being, a sense of freedom and peace of mind.

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My Favorite Books

  • The Success Principles by Jack Canfield
  • It's Hard To Make A Difference When You Can't Find Your Keys by Marilyn Paul
  • Organize With Confidence by Elizabeth Hagen
  • The Secret Of Letting Go by Guy Finley
  • Life Is Short--Wear Your Party Pants by Loretta La Roche
  • The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
  • The Seven Whispers by Christina Baldwin
  • Loving What Is by Byron Katie
  • Making A Change For Good by Cheri Huber
  • "Happiness Now!" by Robert Holden, PhD.

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