What would be more helpful on Mother’s Day than to have the whole family pitch in…literally! Now is one of the times your kids will be most likely to lend a helping hand. For example, spend 15 minutes on a family “discarding” session and get rid of the pesky junk mail and unneeded school papers that have been piling up on your counter.

Check out these 12 Tips for Making Your Life Less Stressful and More Productive:

1. Clutter becomes invisible – Organize the top of your desk:

  • “In Box” for papers you haven’t looked at (not a place for postponed decisions).
  • “Out Box” for things you need to take someplace else.
  • “File Box” for papers to file in places you can’t reach from your desk.

2. Continually eliminate clutter from your life. Practice “Discard”. Ask yourself, “What’s the worst possible thing that can happen if I didn’t have this?” If you can live with your answer, toss it!

3. Sort papers/e-mail using The 4 D System:

  • Discard, Delegate
  • Do It Now
  • Define Action
  • Organize files into two types:
    • “Reference” files (things you don’t know if you will need, but are afraid to toss). Remember 80% of what we file we never look at a second time…
    • “Action” files (things you need to do or delegate).

4. “Reference” files can be found in 5 seconds or less using The Paper Tiger Software, or by creating an excel spreadsheet, which turns you filing system into a finding system.

5. Using the 80/20 rule and work the first 96 minutes of your day on the most important projects.

6. Utilize a database program, such as Outlook, Act, Goldmine for storing names and contact info.