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Blog: Life Management

Paper!...letters, bills, notes, newspapers, and communication of endless varieties. Paper is the single greatest human irritant, according to author and fellow Professional Organizer, Stephanie Winston.  Yet there are only three things that can be done with a piece of paper:  throw it away, respond to it, or file it away. 
So why is paper such a frustration for so many people?  The problem comes when you have to decide what value a piece of paper has.  The first thing you have to do is get over your fear of discarding something you "might" need later.  If you know you need it, file it.  If you're saving it in case you might need it "someday", toss it.  The key is deciding which piece of paper has value worth taking up space in your files.  If it's worth keeping, it's worth having a place to file and it's worth taking the time to file it now!
If you've accumulated stacks and stacks of paper that swallow the papers you really need (and, of course, can't find) it's time to schedule an appointment to weed out your stacks.  Unfortunately the paper will keep coming in the front door as you're trying to throw it out the back door.  So, ask yourself these ten questions to help you determine whether or not to keep any piece of paper, new or old:

Do I really want this piece of paper?
Do I need it?
Will it add something new to what I already have?
Is it significant to my life and situation?
Do I foresee a use for it?
Is it current?
Is it quality?
Is it accurate and reliable?
Is it easy to understand?
Can I easily obtain it elsewhere?

The answers to these questions will help you objectively wade through your stacks of papers, whether it's something you've had for twenty years, or it's in the mail today. 
Next week I'll share some tips for how to file new pieces of paper you know you'll need to keep.

posted on: 3/9/2010 12:00:00 PM by Judy Warmington
category: The Mental Side

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Life Management

by Judy Warmington

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About Judy:

Judy Warmington, Woman Time Management (owner) -- Busy wife, mother of three adult/married children, grandmother of 10 (5 boys and 5 girls!), former high school teacher (M.A. from W.M.U.), Speaker, Author, Radio Personality, and Trainer of Professional Organizers.

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