Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Secretary

One of the biggest struggles with managing the papers in our homes and one of the reasons people are so hesitant to get rid of papers is because of answer #2 to the question:
"Why don't we throw them out?"
2-Because I am worried about being caught without some piece of information we might need if we did get rid of a certain paper so we don't throw any of it out.

In other words, people are afraid to get rid of anything for fear they might actually need the information on it. And that's a valid concern.

In reality, what everyone needs is a personal secretary, right?
Wouldn't that be great?
Someone who we could walk into the house to and just throw all of our papers at and then they can tell us when and where we need to be doing on any given day.
Sound dreamy? 
Well, what if I told you, you can have a secretary and it can be at your service 24 hours a day/7 days a week, wouldn't talk back to you or ask for days off and would only cost you about $7 per year?

Meet your secretary...

(otherwise known as a BIG CALENDAR.)

Let me give you three simple rules about the big calendar and how to make it work best for you:

First, it needs to be BIG. As in, it needs to have BIG spaces to write in. Why? So it can hold a lot of information--really ALL of the information you can possibly give it.  If you make sure your calendar is BIG enough, you can put in information you might not even think you need at the moment but would be in the "nice to have" category.

Second, it needs to hang in a prominent place in your home--preferably right out in the open, so it can be seen and used multiple times a day. Technically the one you see above is a desk top calendar but I would never recommend using it for that. Leaving it out on the desk top or kitchen counter will really contribute to a the messy/cluttered look you DO NOT want. Do whatever it takes to hang it up.

Third, you need to write on it IN PENCIL and in TIME ORDER. "Why? and What? you might ask.  It's vitally important that your big calendar be as accurate every day as possible. And let's face it. Our lives and schedules are constantly changing. What might have been a "for sure" a week or two ago is suddenly not happening. And what was once starting at 1:00 at this place could easily be switched to 4:00 at this other place. ALWAYS write in pencil and train your family to do the same thing. And when adding anything to the calendar it works so much better to have the things that are happening first thing in the morning written at the top of the date box and then down through to noon, late afternoon, evening and late evening. This makes it so when you check your calendar, you can easily see what needs to happen/what commitments have been made in what order.

My last piece of advice when using your secretary is: USE IT. Just like all of us, it is so much happier when it is feeling useful, helpful and needed. We will talk a little more about this in the future but just trust me...you can get a lot farther in your quest to win the Paper Chase when you allow your secretary to do it's job.  That means that you bring papers into your home and immediately see if your secretary can "take care of it" and then you can quickly toss that paper. Imagine how much less paper you could have in your home if lots of papers were thrown at the secretary who recorded them and then threw them away! Lots and lots!  When I get a paper coming in--something like a birthday party invitation or newsletter with specific dates of important events, I make it a priority to stop and record the specific information (including date and time of course but also phone numbers, addresses and any other information--that's why you have a BIG calendar) and then immediately throw that paper away.  It's one of the ways your secretary helps you--it keeps every bit of information in once place and allows you the freedom to let go of the paper that is constantly coming in.

Next post:  Papers that need ACTION

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