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Chapter 10. A Crash Course in Getting Or... > What to Do with All That Paper Jazz - Pg. 98

A Crash Course in Getting Organized 98 Action Tactic Bedside tables are notorious clutter traps. To keep them clear of all but the most essential items, get into the habit of picking up at least a couple of things from your nightstand each morning when you first get out of bed. As you make your way to your morning coffee or the bathroom, drop the items off in the rooms they belong in. The next time you look at your office, home, or even your car and complain about how messy it is, don't act as though you can't do anything about it. Keep the preceding four reasons in mind and see whether you're guilty of any of them. If so, do something about it! What to Do with All That Paper Jazz Whether it's paper in the form of letters, bills, invitations, catalogs, magazines, pamphlets and bro- chures, product warranties, or any other kind of document, correspondence, or publication, there are seven basic things you can do with paper: 1. Take immediate action on it.Respond with a letter, phone call, or e-mail; reply to an invitation; register for an event; pass the paper on to someone else; or take some other action. Immediate usually means within about 24 to 48 hours. Take action on it in the near future.Handle it in the same ways as the immediate action category, but within a longer time frame, such as weeks or months. File it.Put it in a file folder already set up for papers in that category, or establish a folder and a location for it. (Tips on filing are given later in this chapter in "The Wonderful World of Filing.") Pay it.Bills, subscription renewals, membership fees, and any other demands for your hard- earned dollars go into the Pay It category. This category can also include lists, order forms, or pictures of things you want to buy. Throw it out.Decide it doesn't need to be saved and immediately toss it into a trash can or recycling bin. Read it.By keeping things to read in a separate place from your other action files, you can easily grab something to read when you anticipate having some time to do so, such as when waiting in line, sitting on a bus or train, or waiting for an appointment to start. With a Read It file, you can easily reach for a professional journal, a funny article a friend sent, or anything else that will keep you entertained or productive during periods of down time. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Quicksand!