If President Carter really wants to reduce government paperwork, says Michael LeBoeuf, "He ought to get a big wastebasket -- as deep as the Washington Monument and as big around as the Pentagon. That's the single best tool for getting organized and working effectively."
Costs could be cut 20 percent, he claims, "if productivity-strangling paper-shuffling" were brought under control. To melt your personal paper blizzard he suggests: Reorganize Your Desk
1. Take everything off the top, and empty all drawers. Discard every item that is no longer of any use.
2. Consider each remaining item and ask yourself: "What's the worst thing that will happen if I throw this away?" If the answer isn't very much, toss it.
3. Put only the most essential and current of the non-discarded items on, or in your desk.
4. Establish a well-labeled filing system in the deep drawers. Review them periodically. Throw out or store elsewhere the less-essential ones. Establish Paper Rules
1. Try to handle each piece of paper only once. If you pick it up, don't put it down without doing something that will help move it on its way.
2. Generate as little paperwork as possible. Use the telephone. Scribble a reply on someone's letter, if appropriate, and send it back to them. Don't be a "copycat" (by making surplus copies) or a "memo-maniac."
3. Start an office "paper war." With your boss and subordinates, create a list of ways to cut down on needless paper. Have a "throwing out" contest, and give the winner a free lunch.
4. Screen yourself from unneccessary paper. Have your secretary (if you have one), do routine paper chores and sort out paper that needs your attention.
5. Remember, you're there to get results, not shuffle paper. "When in doubt, throw it out."