For the past couple of days I neglected to sort through my mail. Instead of opening it and immediately recycling the junk and processing the rest, like I ususally do, I let it sit in a pile on the corner of my desk. It was amazing how big the pile was after just a few days. It reminded me of just how quickly my clients must find themselves overwhelmed when they neglect their mail for even a short time. Processing my mail typically takes no more than five minutes a day and often, much less, but for those few days, I chose to spend those minutes doing something else. Not a wise choice in hindsight. The thought of processing the pile was a little overwhelming and actually processing it certainly took me longer than five minutes.
I’ve worked with a lot of people over the years who have each dug out from under enough paper to fill five, ten, twenty or more filing cabinets. Paper that was sitting around their home for years. Paper that was taking up valuable living space. Paper that caused them stress, guilt and a lot of frustration, not to mention their time to get rid of it. Paper that we sorted through together to separate what’s important from what should have been recycled long ago. I’m guessing that given a chance at a do over, most of these individuals would have chosen to sort the incoming mail on a regular basis.
Dealing with your mail is a choice. What will you choose?