Every day the mail comes in. These days, we get both paper and digital mail, and it trickles in all day long. Since mail piles up quickly, the secret is to conduct a daily sort. The sort is a way to break down the mail from a conglomerated mass into logical categories.
For paper mail, this entails recycling any advertising and unwanted pieces, and then grouping the rest into folders or piles by type of action, such as “to shred,” “to file,” “to follow up,” or “to pay.”
For email, this means trashing the spam, downloading/saving archive items, responding to “quick questions,” and then identifying and capturing needed action steps to your “to do” list. Since email arrives 24/7, you may wish to sort 2-3 times during the day. There are many tools for sorting email, including filters and rules that can help you keep the clutter at bay.
The secret to sorting mail is to do it quickly. You don’t need to process the items, just triage them until you are ready to take action.
Do you sort your paper mail daily? How often do you sort your email inbox?