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Paper Piles

Master Paper Piles: 5 Step Routine to Control Paper Pile-ups 

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Look around you- what piles do you see?  If you’re like most busy women in midlife, you probably see piles of paper- newspapers, magazines, books, catalogs, flyers, bulletins, mail, paperwork…

All things you’ve been meaning to get to and go through, right?

Even though we’ve moved into the digital age, the PAPER still tends to PILE UP. 

But it’s not just about the piles or the paper, it’s about your response to it-

“I don’t have enough time now… I’ll get to it later.”  But you don’t. 

Putting it off till later may feel good in the moment, but it never fixes the real problem…which is why it keeps piling up. 

That’s cuz it’s not just a PAPER problem, it’s a HEART problem.

When you don’t feel like it and leave it till an undetermined time in the future, that’s actually laziness. Have you ever thought about that?

Laziness (adj): the quality of being UNWILLING to work or use energy to complete a task that needs to be done.  

Proverbs has a lot to say about laziness…and not in a good way.

“Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth.” Prov 10:4

Lazy hands lead to lack. That means when you put it off, you’ll lack the important info when you need it and the time for more important things because you wasted it looking through piles to find it.

Diligent hands lead to plenty. That means when you handle it, you not only have the info you need with easy access, but also the time you didn’t waste to invest in more important things.

Let me share a personal story…

Recently, a pile accrued on my hubby’s side of the counter… after nearly 28 years of marriage, I knew that nagging, complaining or demanding  wouldn’t make it go away, so after dinner one night I suggested, “Let’s look at what’s sitting in that pile.” 

And wouldn’t you know…he found papers he no longer needed as well as ones that definitely needed his attention. 

The next day when he said, “Bet it feels good to see a clean counter again.” I knew he was talking about me…and himself.  Because both the space on the counter and in his mind (and mine) was free + clear for what mattered more.

Want to feel FREE + CLEAR as you look around your home? 

First commit to NO NEW PILES with 1 simple rule…Touch it once. 

Yep, it’s that simple.

Instead of putting that paper that just came across your path from the mail, from the meeting or from the merchant into a pile to get around to when you think you have time, take the less than 1 min to…

  • Ditch it. Put it in the recycling right away if it does not require any more of your time or attention.
  • Do it. Put the date on the calendar or quick fill out the form or pay the bill…then you can can ditch it.
  • Direct it. Put the task it requires in the best timeblock to complete it, then put it away…and when the time comes, get it, do it, then ditch it.

To sustain your pile-free life, create a routine to manage your paper pile-ups and address where the most time (and energy) is wasted on paper in your world…

5 Step Routine to Control Your Paper Pile-ups

  1. Identify the Problem or Need. The first step is always noticing what’s not working or not working well…
  • Where is the most paper coming in? 
  • Where is the most paper piling up? 
  • When are you lazy about dealing with it? 

There are lots of places where the paper-pile problem can pop up…what is it for you in this season of your life?

  1. Uncover the Root. The next step is to dig deeper and get into your heart to expose the real issue… 
  • Is it laziness in putting it off till “later”?  
  • Is it guilt over bills piling up you can’t pay?  
  • Is it saying yes to too much to not miss out? 

There are many issues that could be the cause of the friction you’re feeling…keep digging cuz when you find the root, it won’t come back.

  1. Plan out the Steps.  Now it’s time to set up a system for when that paper comes across your path in the future…. 
  • Is it the touch it once rule to ditch, do or direct it right away?  
  • Is it setting up a mail station near your recycling and calendar?
  • Is it canceling subscriptions or getting off all those mailing lists?

What steps will you take to deal with the paper in the most efficient way possible…so that way piles don’t have a chance to form? 

  1. Block the time. If the problem is that you didn’t make time in the moment, you for sure need to make the time for it now…
  • Is it related to a recurring task that needs a regular time block?
  • Is it a one time to-do that should go in a power hour time block?
  • Is it a task you don’t enjoy that you can do before a fun activity?

The sooner you give it the time, the less time it will have to pile up or get forgotten amongst everything else you do all day long.

  1. Invite the support. Everything involving change is easier when you don’t do it alone, so who needs to be part of the process…
  • Is it your hubby who leaves things out and forgets about it? 
  • Is it your growing-up kids who dump their stuff and walk away?
  • Is it your family who drops by with what they think you need?

First take responsibility for what’s yours, then communicate your  routine + reason with those around you….and invite them to join you.

Soon FREE + CLEAR will be YOUR new normal.  

And you’ll breathe a sigh of relief every time you walk in the room.

BONUS TIP: Get around other like-minded Christian women in midlife who want to be good stewards of their time…and no longer waste it on paper piles (or other less important distractions)!  
Come join us inside the REDEEM Her Time Community where we’re creating routines around all the time wasters in our lives….including our paper piles!

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