If you think organizing paperwork is far more laborious than organizing objects, you’re right! Here’s why:
- If you have 5,000 sheets of paper, you can fit them all into one standard copy-paper box.
- If you have 5,000 various objects, you’re going to need at least one good-sized room to hold them.
To organize either the objects or the papers, you’ll need to make up to 5,000 decisions (fewer if you begin with some metadecisions). So the amount of work is the same, but when you’re done, you’ve either organized an entire room (whoo hoo!) . . . or one measly box of papers.
And if you have 10 boxes filled with papers, you have as many decisions ahead of you as organizing an entire house. Now there’s a daunting reality.
Use this math to reframe your expectations. When you have papers to organize:
- Plan your time accordingly. Expect one box of miscellaneous papers to take many hours, and perhaps more than one day. If there is anything painful in those papers, give yourself even more time.
- Recognize your accomplishment. Remember that getting through just one box of papers will be a success equal to organizing an entire roomful of objects. Celebrate that!