Many people have two trays on their desk, an in tray and an out tray. The in tray holds all the work that is pending for your purview. Many a persons desk has multiple in-trays as one tray doesn’t cut it. Still others have a pile of paper as high as a mountain in their in tray.
Many of the items in your in tray do not need any action to be taken by you at this particular time; sure, they will require your attention at a later time. As these items are not being cleared from your in tray in a timely basis, you will keep looking at that item and tossing it back into the end of your in tray, thus recycling that task over and over again, and wasting precious time in the process.
If you suffer from this sort of situation on a regular basis, you should consider using a “Bring To Front” filing system. Let me explain how this works. You will need many file folders, one for each day of the month, and one for each month, so you would need 31 plus 12, i.e. 43 folders. Label each folder with the appropriate date or month, and arrange them in order.
Now whenever you get something in your in tray that you need to do on a later date, simply put that piece of paper into the appropriate folder in your “Bring To Front” filing system. On each new day of the month, move the folder with the current date up front, and take out all the tasks you have inserted there, and act on them.
Now you don’t have to see a huge pile of paper in your in tray, and you can save time by not re-processing your in tray needlessly,
At the end of the month, take out all the scraps and job instructions there and distribute them among the files numbered 1-31. Then move the month folder to the back, ready for next year. And once you have done this, your life will get better organized.