Tactical Daily Administration – Taming the Paper Monster!

SERIES: Part Two of a Five-Part Article

There is no way around it. As long as people have computers, they will find their print key. And with that, there will always be an endless flow of paper in the business workplace!

Taming that paper monster to manage the daily work environment and ensure maximum productivity is easy. Consider this four-step process as you contemplate touching any physical papered item today (mail, faxes, documents, letters, notes, proposals, handouts, flyers, etc.):

  1. R – Does the item need to be referred to someone else? If so, immediately discard it into a sub-stack of REFERED items and deal with the items on your own terms during that day as appropriate.

  1. A – Does the item need your immediate ATTENTION? If it does, also temporarily discard it until you have restacked all the items of one mass stack into four sub-known, now-manageable stacks.

  1. F – Does the item need to be kept, maintained, saved and, thus, FILED? If so, place it into a sub-stack and deal with it on your own terms as appropriate. The Wharton School of Business did a study (and it’s probably still valid!) and found that more than 60 percent of these items filed away are never touched again until they are thrown away. So, use a “Rule of Three” to determine whether to trash what you may be getting ready to file or task someone else to file it. Can you easily get a backup should something happen to your copy? Do you know how many other people have copies and who is keeping them? Do you have a legal reason for keeping a copy? These questions may motivate you to save more time and merely discard the item.

  1. T – When there is no value in an item, immediately TRASH that item. Place it into a recycle stack or trashcan.

By tactically using this four-step RAFT Process, managerial leaders can both improve their bottom line daily productivity and model for their team how a peak performer should appear.

With this paper monster that runs loose in many businesses now coming under control, let’s eliminate it completely.

By taking any primary stack that contains unknown items, quickly break it down into four manageable known stacks.  Now, you can set two stacks off to the side for attention later in your day. A third stack is completely removed, and you are left facing only one for your dispensing.

Dr Jeff Magee
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http://JeffreyMagee.com

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