6 Declutter Fixes Everyone Should Use

Are you overwhelmed by the massive amount of information you face each day? Fear not, everyone faces a similar challenge in today's heavily communicated society.


Here are 6 easy steps for reducing and managing information clutter in your life:


1. Email inbox: Use the Read, Respond, Remove method, which means you must make one of those decisions on each message you touch. Process your email early in the morning, just after lunch, and 30 minutes before you leave work.


2. Voicemail: Your outbound greeting should leave specific instructions about what you want from your callers. It helps to offer an alternative solution, such as calling back later or calling someone else who can assist them. Write all messages needing action on your daily task list. Delete all messages once you’ve listened to them.


3. Websites: Manage your website and blog information clutter by bookmarking favorite websites in folders in your browser with category names. Next, keep updates on your favorite blogs through an RSS reader, a great alternative to inbox-clogging email subscriptions.


4. Filing systems: Keep your file cabinet in alphabetical order. As a rule of thumb, when in doubt start a new folder. Use descriptive file names and date the outside of the folder. To keep organized, you should sort your files twice a year, purging outdated documents. Then rewrite the date on the folder to indicate the day when the folder was last updated. Older files worth keeping should be kept in a secondary storage location.


5. Physical Inbox: Your desktop inbox is a key part of any organizational system. Make habit of emptying your inbox before you go home each day. This is accomplished by making decisions to take action today, file and read later, store it for reference, or recycle it.


6. Notes, memos, and stickies: Manage random note clutter by not creating it. Make a habit of writing all notes in one key capture location, your planner. It will greatly reduce time spent recalling information, as well as your stress.

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