The average worker spends 6 weeks per year looking for information they already have.

Let me clarify. I am not talking about searching for new information. I am talking about a document lost somewhere in your soft filing system or attached to an email hidden in one of your sub-folders.

6 weeks per year…

At least when we were paper based, there was a limit to our filing capacity. But today with most people using soft documents and storage being so cheap, the sky is the limit to our capacity to keep documents.

Storage is cheap but not your time.

Bonjour, in this video, I want to share one simple advice that is going to make filing and retrieving your documents much quicker.

A few years ago, when we were using paper, research showed 85% of the paper documents we kept were never checked them.

Have a guess what this is for emails?

What is the percentage of emails we keep but never look at again?


99% of the emails we file into our folders and sub folders and sub sub folders are never checked again. The issue is not the 99%. The issue is the 1% that we desperately need in the future. The issue is the 1% lost in this sea of information.

My suggestion: 80 10 10.

·        80% of the emails or documents you are receiving should go in your biggest file, ‘my friend the bin’.

·        10% should go to your second biggest file, ‘half way to the bin’.

·        And only 10% should be filed.

I know, I am really challenging you with this. What I want is for you to put a filter in your brain. Most people automatically file all the emails and documents they receive. You should ask yourself firstly, can I delete this?

If you end up with 60 20 20 or 50 25 25 this is already a huge step forward.

Do you need the 10 replies to the same email? No. Keep the last one.

Do you need to keep an email you have replied to? No. You have the reply in your sent folder.

Do you need to keep a ‘thank you’ response or a ‘good idea’ email?

You see my point.

My team and I have the pleasure of working with many leaders and their teams around the world. We take our clients through a 3 to 4 month journey to transform their life by changing their work habits. The first step of this journey is called Declutter Your Space. You would be surprised as to how many people are grateful to us just after this first session, helping them to declutter their soft files and email folders. A huge weight has been lifted off their shoulders.

This is this week’s work smarter live better tip. I hope you enjoyed it. Happy decluttering!

A bientôt,

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