Picture this, you arrive home from work and grab your mail out of the mailbox. You quickly flip through it and spend a few extra minutes looking at the grocery ad. The pile of mail is put down on the counter. After dinner, you pick up the pile again and flip through it looking for the bill you saw earlier. You open the bill and groan at the total. You put the bill back on the pile. Later the pile is calling your name again so you flip through to find the grocery ad from earlier. After you finish writing your list for the store you add the ad back to the pile. A few days later you head back to the mail pile, which has only grown, and flip through it and grab the envelope from the bill you previously opened and throw it into the recycling bin.
The cycle continues from there. That pile of mail is touched again and again creating an incredible amount of inefficiency for such a simple task.
As we enter into the New Year many resolve to get more organized and efficient. Try the Touch It Once philosophy with your mail and watch it build from there. Make an effort to only touch the mail one time. As soon as you pick it up, immediately throw out, recycle, shred, or file anything that you can. Log online to pay the bill or write the check. Have a designated space to keep anything that cannot immediately be processed but you want to keep. Do you like to save coupons? Cut out the ones you need and have a designated place to keep them. Touching your mail only once seems so simple yet hardly anyone does it.
I use the Touch It Once principal with my mail. When the counter isn’t cluttered with mail I tend to want to keep it neat and clean so I don’t leave a dirty dish or other clutter either. There are times that life gets in the way and I fall behind on Touching It Once. Once the mail is piled up than so does everything else on the table. Pretty soon I have an unorganized mess on my hands that takes a lot longer to clean and sort through.
It is easy to get started on the Touch It Once plan today. You don’t need any fancy organization bins or special labels or trays. You don’t need to color code anything or spend any money on special supplies. Just commit to Touching It Once today.