Studies have shown that because of the need for better Time Management skills up to 95 percent of all items filed are never used again. Have you found it easier to buy more file cabinets to fill than to purge old, useless files that are helping clog every file drawer? If you are wondering whether to file a particular piece of paper or e-document, answer the following questions:

Is it useful?

Could I easily get this information somewhere else if needed?
What is its useful life?

Is it possible to store it on a CD, or on other digital media?

These questions will stimulate your thoughts about the criteria you use in deciding what items you should file, and what to discard. Develop your criteria for deciding what to save and for how long.

It is more difficult to get "deadwood" items out of your files and folders than it was to save them in the first place. For continuous file purging, assign a "destroy" date to filed items not having a continuous useful life. It helps ensure their timely removal.

The destroy notation, "D/month/day/year," penciled on the upper corner of a filed hardcopy item indicates that on or after that date anyone finding the item in a file or folder should destroy it. Writing a three to five word statement describing why the item was saved often helps. Type in a similar notation in e-documents when possible; add the notation to item subject lines or set auto-delete dates if your software permits.

It is not a sin to have poor Time Management skills and habits,
but it is to keep them.

Time Management tips on improving how you handle your paperwork and e-documents are among the hundreds of self improvement tips available from Dr. Larry Baker. To assess your current Time Management skills and habits and improve your opportunities for larger salary increases, promotions and greater success, go to:

Author's Bio: 

For nearly 30 years, Dr. Larry Baker has been an internationally recognized consultant, coach, speaker, author and publisher. His articles, books, booklets, tape albums, movie scripts and personal performance assessment surveys cover many Time Management topics, including strategic, operational, performance planning, as well as organizational design and structure.