About Organizing your papers. I use a file cabinet along with an inbox to store papers until filed. I keep a fairly good filing system. However, I hate actually filing and will put it off until the box is full or I can't find something important (like financial papers). Is there any way to make this more fun?
M, You are so not alone! Most people hate filing. The reason is that many filing systems are not designed and set up in a way that is "user-friendly" and ADD or creative person friendly.
It's the little things we do or don't do in setting up the system that makes them a pain in the neck to use and thus, we avoid them.
Below are the top 4 common practices that create resistance to filing and my suggested solutions for creating "friendlier" filing systems that are EASY to maintain.
1. Over-stuffing the file drawer or container.
If your filing drawers are overstuffed, I guarantee you will hate filing and you will probably suffer from lots of hang nails and paper cuts too.
Solution: Always have at least 6-10 inches of space available in your file cabinet or file crate. Make sure you can easily move and open each file with one hand and drop your paper in the file with the other hand.
2. Using unappealing, low quality filing containers and supplies.
So many people's file cabinets / containers are practically falling apart or get stuck when you open them, etc.
Solution: A quality filing cabinet, drawer, or even an attractive easy to use desktop file box can make all the difference.
3. Location, Location, Location
Another very common issue is that people don't keep the file folders they most frequently need to file into handy. If you file cabinet is across the room...you aren't going to keep up with the filing easily.
Solution: An attractive, easy to use, high quality filing system which contains your most frequently used files, is NOT overstuffed, and is located near your desk or bill paying area will transform your attitude about filing forever.
4. Setting up TO FILE piles instead of filing as you go.
Big TO FILE piles are a symptom of a filing system that isn't designed to be user-friendly. Think about it. If your filing system is handy, attractive, and just as easy to put paper into as a pile on your floor or desk...why wouldn't you file it immediately? Once you have an easy to use system, you can ELIMINATE your "To File" pile altogether.
Solution: Keep your frequently used files near enough to you to where you process or generate papers that need filing. BONUS: if your files are near where you work, when they start getting overstuffed, you'll notice immediately and can take 2 minutes to purge your thickest files as you go so that not only do you never have to spend hours filing, you don't have to spend hours decluttering either!
If you like these tips, I've included more of them in the following:
I hope you find these tips helpful. I wish you much success in overcoming resistance and learning to love your filing system. With the right design for you, your filing system could become your trusted best friend.
Ariane Benefit, M.S.Ed., Coach