Thursday, May 27, 2010

Multitasking: A Professor's Insightful Video

Recent studies have been showing that multitasking is no longer a virtue, it's just doing two things poorly at the same time. As younger generations surround themselves with more electronics, we wonder if they are overcoming this multitasking pitfall. This video explains how the brain works (in a fun way) and why most multitasking still hurts learners more than it helps.

"Professor Daniel Willingham looks at multi-tasking and concludes that even though kids today may like to multi-task, there's no reason to think that they are different than previous generations; they don't *need* to multi-task to be engaged and, like everyone else, kids today can't do two things at once as well as they can do one."

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Local Shredding Events

The Borough of Brookhaven, PA, is having their annual "Shred It!" event on Saturday, May 15, from 9 am to 1 pm. Call 610-874-2557 for details.

Maybe your town has a free shredding event coming up too! Check your town's website, newsletter, or call the office. 'Tis the season for shredding!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Tackle the Paperwork

Tax season has just passed, and it’s a great time to organize your paperwork. If you don’t have a filing system, or if yours just needs a tune-up, here are some suggestions.

1. Get all of your paperwork in one place. It’s difficult to organize your files if you have boxes in several rooms.

2. Separate your paperwork into piles by subject. If you already have files set up, you may be able to use them for your new system. If you don’t have file folders, put documents in piles and use sticky notes to assign subjects. Broader subjects are better than very specific ones, so you avoid having only one piece of paper per folder and many folders. You can always go back and get more specific later.
3. Purge excess paperwork. Create piles for trash, recycling and shredding. Use a guide like Catherine Williams’ “How long to keep financial records” article from to decide how long to keep certain documents. It’s usually seven years for tax returns and 45 days to seven years for credit card statements.
4. Make your file folders. Use the sticky notes as a guide. I suggest Pendaflex hanging file folders with removable plastic subject tabs. They make it convenient to change subject labels in the future. Place your documents in the labeled folders.

5. Assess your file storage. Now that you know how much paperwork you have, make sure you have file furniture to store it and to grow. Office supply stores have a wide selection of filing cabinets, as well as more “open” filing furniture and racks. Make your system your own, and it will be easier to find things.

6. Create a file index. Look at your file folders and write or type a list of the subjects on the tabs. Keep this list near your files. It will help you find the right file, before you even open your cabinet. It will help other members of your household as well.

7. Dedicate time to file regularly. Try to find a half hour a week to file. Keep on top of it and your “to file” pile won’t be quite as intimidating!