Most attorneys keep vastly more printed material in and on their desks and cabinets than they need to. Even prior to the advent of the net, it was tempting to save too much paper-based information. You know the script in your head: “I might want to look that up someday.” “That was a great seminar; I should keep those case law handouts.” “That six-volume reference from 2008? I use that a couple of times a year!” “That guy’s marketing materials might come in handy if he turns into a client or referral source.”
Three Key Points:
- It’s almost all available on the net if you really need it.
- Paperwork accounts for the vast majority of office clutter.
- You will waste less time and be far less stressed by reducing the clutter you have to fight on a daily basis. This is a classic example of the 80/20 rule as applied to time and practice management. You probably spend 80% of your time using the same 20% of printed resources. Yet your overall efficiency is depleted by the presence of the 80% that takes up space and is rarely or never used.
What To Do:
- Make time before the end of the year to purge the unnecessary paper in your desk, in your drawers and on your shelves. Be ruthless. You will not miss what you toss out.
- Resolve to apply a new mental filter whereby you consciously ask yourself if you must keep the new paper that comes into your office.
Remember, clutter robs you of time, clarity of thinking, and profit — and most clutter is made up of paper. Purge it and keep it minimized.