(c) 2002 by Cheryl Williams Levey, http://www.cherylsweb.com
Many of you know that
I have a very full schedule. And most of you probably have similar schedules!
One of the ways I work is to create piles of things. I have a pile (and
sometimes two or three) for my business, a pile for each of the freelance
projects I have, a pile of bills, cards, and other "personal" stuff to
get to, etc...
Do you have the Pile Syndrome too?
I've tried all kinds of ways to make the piles go away, from filing cabinets
to filing dividers on top of my desk. The problem is that if it's not
in it's respective pile, I forget that I have to take action on each piece
in the pile. And I should mention here that taking the action and getting
rid of the pile doesn't happen because you know as well as I do that even
as things get done, other things occur to create more work and add to
the pile. Which is actually a wonderful thing because it means progress!
So, how to conquer the piles?
Take action before putting something in a pile
This, obviously, is the ideal solution. If I could just DO whatever it
is I'm supposed to do with each piece of paper right when I receive it,
I wouldn't have so many piles. So, I do try to do this. I try to take
care of things as they come in, so that things don't get too piled up.
However, sometimes other priorities make this impossible. Especially for
people who strictly schedule their days--which can be a very effective
way to focus and get things done.
Set aside specific time each day to clear or minimize each pile
So, for those who do schedule, schedule clearing the piles into each day.
That way, each pile should only be about a day old, excepting those things
like scraps of paper with items needed to buy on the next shopping trip
and things like that.
Prioritize piles--some can wait, others (like bills) can't
I have a pile of "sentimental" type things...both my kids' baby books
(because one of my kids is only 5 months old) and pictures and notations
on scrap paper of my baby's firsts (that need to be added to the baby
book!). This pile hasn't been touched, other than to move it to get to
other piles, since my baby was born. Pathetic, right? I sometimes think
so, but in the realm of things, it's really not. I'm a very busy person
and I do jot down the firsts and someday I will sit down for a few hours
and organize it all. Personally, it's more important to me to cuddle with
him and play with both my kids than it is to make sure the heirlooms are
completed in a timely manner. The bonding and memories are more important
to me. So I don't stress myself out too much about it as long as I DO
manage to get through the bill pile!
Accept that piles will always exist
Speaking of stress, sometimes we really stress ourselves out because we
think things should be a certain way and can't manage to make things that
way. Like cleaning up the piles. For me, reality is accepting that in
my reality, I have piles. It's my way of being efficient. Piles are a
part of my life and my home. They help determine my priorities for each
day and my efforts to minimize them are part of my fulfillment for a job
well done. Piles can be a wonderful thing!
Cheryl Williams Levey owns cherylsweb.com, a site
dedicated to showing you how to save time and money
while growing your home business. Do you have what
it takes to build a home business?