Prioritize your mail – Better time management

I like the way “The Greatest Ameican Lawyer” talks about prioritizing one’s mail. Thanks to Patrick Lamb for letting me know about this post.

His comment reminds me of the story of General Arthur MacArthur who, so the story goes, was very efficient because he never touched a piece of paper more than once. When the mail arrived at his desk, he decided what to do with it and then routed it accordingly. Of course, that fails to account for the paper he needed to review on a later occasion. But, hey, this is a story. Cut some slack here; I’m writing from Venice, CA, the story capital of the world (so the story goes).

I prefer the Model 43 method, myself. It has made a big difference for me. Model 43 comes by that name from adding 31 days in a month and 12 months in a year. When a piece of paper (we’re not paper-less yet) comes into my office, I toss it, route it or place it in one of the 31 slots for paper that needs to be handled later in the month or in one of the 12 slots that needs to be handled in a future month.

This simple technique has saved me much time … time which gets “unsaved” or eaten up when something happens and I need to find that piece of paper before the assigned date and I can’t remember in which slot I placed the paper. But, hey, at least there are only 43 slots in which to look!


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