You’re wondering, “What! I didn’t think Joanne was extravagant. How did she ever spend that much on an in-basket? Is it made of gold? The sad reality is that the in-basket has become the place I toss non-essential items of interest. We’ve talked in the past of prioritizing, urgent and important. Things in the in-basket are not urgent. I have a folder for important things for quick action. Magazines have their own special place. So what ends up in the in-basket? Articles that I tear out of magazines and the Wall Street Journal. These might be to send to you, or to speak, blog or tweet about. They need to be filed. They remind me to research the topic, go to the website or download the app… when I have time. I’m always going to “make time” to organize. Maybe I should post a note like some corporate break rooms that  says “Anything not cleaned out by 4 PM Friday will be thrown away.”  Would that help?

Seriously, there is always something better to do than empty the in-basket. But, I’m on a kick to organize the office and get rid of clutter. After all, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up has been on the best-seller list for months. There must be something to this. So, slowly, one drawer at a time, my office is getting organized and the recycle barrel and used bookstore are seeing the benefit. It feels great to find things more easily and not have each file drawer be so jammed full, it’s hard to get anything out.

Hmm, have you noticed that I’m avoiding the in-basket in this organizing campaign? Well, its over 6 inches deep. Yikes! Each piece of paper, article, etc. has to be read and then filed or acted upon. The first inch took over an hour and I started using the app Wunderlist to create lists of things that no longer needed bits of paper saved. The pile shrunk a little. The second inch took 2 hours, with some really interesting reading. In the third inch I found an expired $10 gift card from Verizon.

Then came the note I’d written to sell a stock because it had fallen about 50% from my initial purchase price. I meant to do it that day, or at least that week. It landed in the in-basket and was forgotten. I logged into my investment account, looked up the stock and was horrified to see it has lost another $700 since the note was written. UG!!! And no one to blame but myself. There are still two inches left to get to the bottom of the in-basket, so the work continues. On the positive side, nothing new has been put into the in-basket since this journey began. So far the in-basket has cost me over $710. Hope yours is not as expensive.

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Have you ever taken the DISC behavioral assessment, with Rising Stars or any other leadership development professional? Remember the value of better understanding yourself and adapting to the style of others? Rising Stars is now sending out a free weekly DISC tip each Monday morning. If you’d like to receive this beautiful photo and quick tip, please email Amy at Amy@RisingStarsLLC.com. It’s a great way to start your week.

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