Everyone loves to lose weight and I discovered where most working women are hiding their extra pounds! Extra weight slows you down and you don’t want that as a talented, focused woman. Where are those hidden pounds lurking? They are all around you in your workspace – on your desk next to your computer, off to the side on the floor, hiding in a stuffed file drawer, and sitting on a nearby credenza. They are the excess paper piles, binders, and files!
You will immediately boost your productivity and enjoyment of work just by getting rid of those excess pounds that never got put away from your last project or missed getting sorted in your new dream career that the employee before you left. Now is the time to organize your workspace and lose those extra pounds by going on the 30 Pound Paper Diet.
What is the “30 Pound Paper Diet?”
I developed the “30 Paper Diet” several years ago when my husband’s company had a limit on what they would pay for moving. I discovered each pound cost 60 cents to move! So I set out on the task of saving money by downscaling my home office. As a professional organizer and entrepreneur for many years, I didn’t think this would be a big deal. Little did I know I had more than I thought! And I didn’t realize the freedom that a clutter free office would hold so now I track my progress yearly.
What’s the Goal of the “30 Lb. Paper Diet?” Clear out and clean up your workspace to create an inspiring, beautiful work environment that makes you happy to walk into each day and keeps you productive accomplishing your dream career goals.
The 3-Step “30 Pound Paper Diet”
Start your Paper Diet at a time away from your regular work day, like a weekend or evening. Place an open box for recycle papers on the floor to your left and a shred box to your right. Have a pad of paper in the center of your desk to write a Master List of To Do action items you find in your office cleanup. Now you are ready to begin.
Step #1: Clear Your Desktop.
The first step in losing those excess pounds is to clean up the desktop. Create a clear center space by stacking papers neatly on one side. Turn the pile of papers you are going to organize upside down. Why? The oldest papers are now at the top of the pile and will be easier to recycle. Stand in front of your desk and begin to go through paper piles.
You may be tempted to jump in and start taking care of To Do items right away, but don’t! Stick to writing a Master List of what needs to be done and keep clearing your workspace by asking, “Is this paper worth my time and space to keep it?” If the answer is no, let it go. If the answer is yes, file it in by subject or write the action needed on your Master List and file it under “To Do.”
Step #2: Clean Out Your Supplies.
Next place the contents of the supply drawer on top of your clean desktop and then clean the drawer. Now carefully put back office supplies you absolutely need in the desk tray divider. Get rid of the rest. If your desk doesn’t have a supply drawer, then use a desktop supply holder.
Step #3: Get Rid of Piles and Old Files.
After you have cleared your desktop and supply drawers, it is time to deal with the piles on the flat surfaces and purge old files buried in file drawers. This is where you find the biggest hidden pounds, often piled on the floor, credenza, or file drawers waiting for the “right time” to get sorted. It’s now!
Now stand back and survey your desk space. Is there anything more you can do to organize or eliminate paper? Label your binders, scan or recycle older ones, and weigh the paper for the day. Chart your progress by weighing how much you “lose” in a day.
l inch of paper = l pound
1 book = 1 pound (on average)
1 Magazine = Half a Pound
What Can a “Paper Diet” Do for You?
Just recently one of my virtual clients across the country wrote; “Who would have known that 4 years later I am still reaping the benefit every day of organized client files that we did together! Just this morning I realized how getting organized with you has saved me time in my business and I just had to write and Thank You for increasing my productivity.”
With fewer piles and files in your life, your mind will be clearer, you’ll be more focused, and you’ll experience instant relief! A clutter free workspace is worth the investment it takes in YOU. I believe you can do it!
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