Do you ever realize in the middle of doing something that it's dumb and you totally know better?
That happened to me recently, and I was (unsurprisingly) rather annoyed with myself. So in case you find yourself doing the same thing, here is one of the best organizing/ simplifying your life tips ever - handle everything in your inbox only once.
Obviously this tip originally was designed to address paper clutter, but I'm a paper clutter Nazi so that's not really a problem for me. It's my email that bites me. I'll sit down to skim through it when I don't have the time or energy to really deal with it and then let it pile up in a frightful, towering avalanche... which is entirely unnecessary because I know better!
If you find yourself in the same situation, here are a few things I do on my smarter days that work really well:
1. Grab your planner/ calendar/ sticky notes - whatever you use to keep track of life - before you open your email. As you open messages you can write yourself reminders, check your schedule and respond to inquires right away and jot down event information promptly. Barring the few exceptions where you have to check with a spouse or do research on something, this should allow you to handle most emails only once before deleting or filing them in the correct electronic folder.
2. Don't check your email constantly. Studies have proven we waste obscene amounts of time checking our email, so seriously consider getting in the habit of leaving your computer off or in sleep mode when not actively working on something so you will check your mail less often. As a bonus, when you do check it you'll be more likely to have time to handle it properly.
3. Don't be afraid to print stuff. Sometimes I am very grateful for the paperless world. Other times, a printed email filed in the right place or clipped into my planner for future reference is worth it's weight in gold. It saves time, prevents anything from being lost and shifts one more thing from my piling up inbox to the trash folder.
Do you ever find yourself forgetting good habits you thought you had down?