I was recently working with a client who struggled to keep her counter tops clear of paper piles. The paper mostly consisted of mail, magazines and catalogs she wanted to read, documents she needed to sign, flyers for classes she wanted to sign up for — all the usual papers that we all end up with on our counters at some point.
I set her up with a mail station consisting of folders corralling things to be paid, to be read, to be filed, and to take action on. But it wasn’t enough. The papers continued to pile up. That’s when I told her about the Hour of Power. Nope, not the old televangelist show on TV! Instead, the Hour of Power is your very own home office hour.
Here’s how it works:
- Choose a time when you know you will be home once a week. This should be a time when you have the energy and focus to work for an hour uninterrupted in your home office or at the kitchen table. For our family, it’s 7 p.m. on Sunday evenings. Set a recurring appointment date with an alarm on your phone to remind you of your Hour of Power until it becomes a habit.
- During your Hour of Power, gather your mail you have collected throughout the week in your labeled folders and do the tasks the folders tell you to do such as: pay the bills, read the documents, make decisions about what classes to take or vacations to schedule, call that business that sent you the incorrect bill, and file the papers. Basically, the point is to Do What the Papers on Your Counters Tell You To Do.
If you faithfully spend an hour a week in your Hour of Power, I guarantee you will see your paper piles start to shrink. Hooray! You will also feel a sense of relief that your bills are paid, that your vacation or class is scheduled, that all those annoying little tasks are slowly getting taken care of.
And how did my client do after I told her about the Hour of Power? She set the calendar date with an alarm on her phone to remind her of this weekly task, and then she started finding great success keeping her counters free of paper piles! She was so thrilled!
All hail the Hour of Power!
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