Eliminate It—Paper to Recycle or Shred Now and in the Near Future

Technique #12: Get in the Habit of Eliminating Paper and Information Immediately If Not Needed or After the Purpose Has Been Served

Paper and information comes into your office every day from multiple locations: meetings, coworkers, your boss, and the mail, just to name a few. You can eliminate the papers from piling up by consciously making decisions about it as it arrives at your work area. However, without a good system to store and retrieve paper documents—coupled with a tendency to delay making decisions—you will most certainly end up with piles.

Following are two lists of paper that can be eliminated—some immediately, and others after the information contained on the document has served its purpose. These lists are intended to help you get a jump start on the amount of information or paperwork you may have accumulated over the years.

Some Examples of Paper You Can Eliminate Immediately

  • Junk mail.
  • Meeting agendas (especially if you have them stored electronically).
  • Draft documents that you have stored electronically.
  • Brochures for conferences that have taken place in the past that you did not attend.
  • Outdated marketing materials (keep maybe just a copy or two for historical reasons).
  • Invitations to events you know you won’t attend.
  • Journals and magazines more than a year old that you never read. There will always be more.
  • Business newspapers more than three months old.
  • Envelopes from the daily mail you’ve ...

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