Organize + Energize: 5 Reasons NOT to go Paperless

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

 

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If you are a regular reader of this column, you know I’ve been writing a great deal about paper. It’s an issue that many people struggle with. It’s seems now more than ever, people are consumed by paper and can’t seem to control it. 

Paper is going to be around for a very long time. Just because we are in this digital age doesn’t mean we have to get rid of all paper that flows through our life. Remember, there is still all of the mail that we deal with on a daily basis that isn’t digital. 

If you are a disorganized person, really think about if going paperless is going to make your life easier. You will need to get organized regardless if you are switching to paperless or not. You’ll still have to create working organized systems to deal with scanning and receiving emails. 

Here are 5 reasons NOT to go paperless:

Paper calendars are alive and well. Calendars on your phone and other tablets, computers, etc., may not work for you. If you are a visual person, you probably like writing appointments in your calendar and being able to see your weeks ahead planned out for you. This system may work really well for you, why change it? You may find that you tried to switch to a digital calendar and it created more work for you and you weren’t as efficient as you were before.  Don’t work with a broken system. If it’s not working for you, switch back to what was working. 

Don’t give into peer pressure.  Your co-workers and friends are telling you going paperless will make your life so much easier. Your systems are working perfectly fine, but you feel the need to jump on the bandwagon with everybody who is scanning and going paperless.  If you are working at your top efficiency level now, why change? Just because the system is working for your friend doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you.

You may be creating more work for yourself. How many times do you touch a paper before and after you scan it? Most people will have a pile waiting to be scanned. They touch the paper when it arrives, place it in a pile, touch it again to scan it and then touch it again to make a decision what to do with that paper. Add one more step if after you are scanning it you file it into a physical file. You want to be as efficient as possible and if scanning is making your life a little more complicated, it’s time to revert back to old ways.

How tall is the pile that is sitting waiting to be scanned? This paper pile becomes a distraction for you and anybody working around you. Currently, it’s sitting in a bin on your desk and it really doesn’t serve a purpose. How long has the pile been sitting there? Have you hired an extra hand to tackle all of your scanning because you just don’t have the time to get around to it? It may have just been easier to file the papers into a filing system as soon as they entered your office and you wouldn’t be in the predicament you are in now. 

Paperless statements aren’t always the answer. Have you had to pay late fees because you missed the statement due date? If money was automatically withdrawn, did you have the money to cover the bill? How long does the company keep statements on file? If your bills are online, are you taking the time to review them? Before you switch to paperless bills, really think about if it’s a good fit for you and your family. 

Whether you go all paperless, half paperless, or you keep your paper, it’s your decision. You want to be as efficient and productive as possible at home and at work. Don’t continue to work with a system that holds you back from reaching your fullest potential. Evaluate how you are functioning and decide what works best for you. 

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Kristin Carcieri-MacRae, the founder and owner of Organizing in RI, has always enjoyed finding creative ways to streamline the environment around her. She has appeared on air on Patricia Raskin's Positive Business Radio and her articles have been published in the Rhode Island Small Business Journal and New England Home Life. Kristin's CD, Organizing Basics, is a 1-hour guide for the person who wants to get organized but doesn't know where to start. She is also available for organizing workshops. Tune into her weekly radio show, Organize, Energize! on Mondays at 8:30 a.m. on http://www.talkstreamradio.com.

 

Related Slideshow: 5 Organizing Blunders

Avoid these mistakes and your project will take less time than you expected. You won’t be as stressed or as overwhelmed as you anticipated. You will be amazed at what you have accomplished. You will be motivated and energized to tackle another project.

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Not planning ahead

Getting organized is a process and you have to have a plan on how to conquer your project. You can’t tear apart an entire room all at once. You need to break the project down into small pieces. Plan to tackle your project in 3-hour increments. If you work longer than 3 hours at a time, you are setting yourself up for burnout. Plan ahead to try to avoid distractions and stay focused.

Click here for more tips on how to avoid distractions.

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Purchasing the incorrect supplies

I know you are excited to get organized, but don’t rush out to the store and purchase products just because you like the way they look. Get organized first. Figure out what you need to contain, and then purchase your container to match the items you need it to hold.

http://www.golocalprov.com/lifestyle/organize-energize-9-ways-to-get-the-most-out-of-containers/" target="_blank">Click here for more on choosing the right container.

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Not letting others know about your system

Once you set up the organized system, you have to get everybody in your home on board. Show them the systems and how you are going to function with this system going forward. Label everything if you must, so everybody gets in the habit of putting items away. Remember, the simpler the system, the easier it’s going to be to maintain.

http://www.golocalprov.com/lifestyle/10-steps-to-creating-a-new-home-organization-system/" target="_blank">Need help creating those systems? Go here.

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Not maximizing your space

Use every inch of space and use it well. Take everything out of the area you are organizing. You can’t get a clear visual of the space if it is filled with clutter. Shifting items around is not going to work.

Here are more tips on maximizing your space.

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Repeatedly clearing spaces

You are creating more work for yourself if you continue to clear spaces once a month. Create a system and allow everything in your home to have its own place, and you will never have to clear a space again.

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Kristin Carcieri-MacRae

Kristin Carcieri-MacRae, the founder and owner of Organizing in RI, has always enjoyed finding creative ways to streamline the environment around her. She has appeared on air on Patricia Raskin's Positive Business Radio and her articles have been published in the Rhode Island Small Business Journal and New England Home Life. Kristin's CD, Organizing Basics, is a 1-hour guide for the person who wants to get organized but doesn't know where to start. She is also available for organizing workshops. Tune into her weekly radio show, Organize, Energize! on Mondays at 8:30am on www.talkstreamradio.com.

 
 

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