Let’s talk about going green. Yes, going green. There are many ways you can keep a green office. But there is more to having a green office than saving the environment. The most common commodity we all work with is paper….. to me, a close second is my time. If I can save a tree or two and save myself time so that I can take a guilt-free lunch, then I want to do it. One side benefit is that I make my office more efficient. I’ll save some of my tricks for another time, but let’s start off with one thing I do to save time! I have to admit that I’m partial to this one.
Be Smart – touch it once…. Be Smart – be efficient and thrifty….. touch it Once
Be disciplined. When you open your mail or paper is handed to you, categorize it immediately. If it is trash, toss it or recycle it; if it needs to go to someone else for action, address it and put in your outbox; if it needs to be filed, put it in your filing box. If action can wait, create a tickler file. If it is urgent, put it in your action folder. Touch it once then Act on it!
How many times have you looked for an important piece of mail that you are sure you received but for the life of you can’t find! Is it in this pile or in that pile. Is it – OH NO!, did I throw it out with the trash? There is a dance we have all done in our office, it’s called the “paper shuffle.” Sound familiar? Where is it; what did I do with it? You’ve got to touch it once then act on it! I live in a highrise condo. Every day, I see my neighbors open their mail boxes and before they head for the elevator, they go through their mail and toss in the bin all the junk! They don’t even bother taking it upstairs where it will eventually be added to their desk clutter. They touched it once, they acted on it! Be disciplined! That is what it takes. If you truly can’t go through your mail at that moment, keep it in your inbox so that it doesn’t get mixed with other things.
I have some other ideas for going green that benefits both you and the environment. These include using “quiet time,” efficient filing systems, electronic filing (my new favorite), and the list goes on. Remember…. Be Smart – touch it Once!
Sue McLaughlin is the founder and principal of McLaughlin Bookkeeping Services, LLC and MBS Bookkeeping Seminars. Her mission is to offer small-business clients a fair price for bookkeeping services while delivering excellent customer service.