Around here, winter typically comes with snow. Sometimes earlier, sometimes later, sometimes more, sometimes less, but usually always in amounts that need to be cleared away – and we have a pretty big courtyard and driveway to clear!
After a few weeks of little to no snow, yesterday afternoon, a short but hefty snow storm dumped about a centimeter on us.
I could have left it alone. The sun came out after the storm and started to melt the snow pretty quickly. But winter days are short, and I wasn’t sure that everything would be melted by the time the sun went down again. And then there would be dangerous patches of ice all over, possibly making walking and driving on it hard or even impossible.
So I grabbed the snow shovel and got to work. It took me about 45 minutes, which was also a nice little workout break from sitting at the desk.
This morning, I was really glad I had taken the time yesterday – overnight, we got another 7 centimeters of snow! Had I not cleared the one from the day before, we would have had compacted snow from cars driving on it and people walking on it, which would have turned to ice, making the clearing away this morning a lot harder.
This got me thinking about the paperwork that tends to accumulate on my desk (and I’m sure on everyone else’s as well). It may not seem like much, but seemingly overnight, it can turn into a huge pile. Getting started on clearing that away can be pretty daunting.
However, continuously taking care of smaller amounts, even if they seem negligent, can prevent tedious hours of sorting and filing or frantically looking for that invoice I know needs to be paid today when I really don’t have time for that.
The best thing would be to have (and schedule!) a regular time for taking care of paperwork. In my experience, once a week is sufficient and takes at most 30 minutes. Using a pre-sorting system also helps.
And then the big piles become the exception and not the rule! 🙂