I had a friend years ago who used to fall out with her husband about the Bottom Step. What happened was the post would arrive, he would open it, look at it and then shove it back in the envelope and put it on the bottom step in the hallway where it malingered for weeks on end. Bills went unpaid, appointments got missed, there was lots of time wasted looking for things and people slipped on the envelopes… as you can imagine it caused the odd argument here and there.
Do you have a bottom step at work – maybe a big pile or drawer where you just shove all your post and work to do? Stop! Try adopting these rules for dealing with incoming work/post.
Do you need it? If it’s rubbish or not needed, recycle it IMMEDIATELY.
If it needs action, can you do it in less than two minutes? If so, do it now.
If it needs working on later, put in a tray marked ACTION.
Once you’ve started working on it, but it still needs finishing off or you’re waiting for info to come in, put in a tray marked PENDING.
Once complete, avoid shoving everything in a tray marked FILE. Only do this if you are good at getting your filing done regularly (but realistically if you’re a bottom stepper, is this likely???) If not, file it straightaway, and the job is done. Or if you have someone to delegate your filing to, you can put it in a tray marked FILE.
Why not also have a tray marked READING for mags and newsletters that come in the post or internal mail that you want to look at when you have a moment? Beware though, if it stays there for months on end it may be best to just bin it in the first place!
Hopefully these tips will help you avoid tripping over things on the Bottom Step!