We store everything on office hard disk. We are worried about the hard disk crash; we save everything on the pen drive. As pen drive is prone to virus, naturally we copy everything on the CD. We also send these files to ourselves (a couple of ‘id’s as the servers go down sometimes), in case the pen drive does not open, we can at least download it online. And who knows when the power cut would be there; - just to be on the safer side – we almost print everything that we type. Then we come home and copy day’s work in home PC or laptop.
Ridiculous, isn’t it? Mind you, most of it is very temporary stuff – nothing notable to be of so much obsession of copying. I too am a victim of this disease of SCP – Saving, Copying and Printing. No wonder, I spend lot of time in cleaning papers.
I am not the sole culprit in this creation of waste papers. There are colleagues and bosses who keep on sending papers to me – most of the stuff is what they don’t want for themselves! They will elegantly write ‘let us discuss’ or ‘you will find this interesting’ on it, but forget it conveniently unless I open the topic. Earlier I used to ‘discuss’ all these topics (and for that I had to read all the papers coming to my desk) proactively. Now I keep it – No, No, I never pass it on to others. In a way they delegate ‘paper cleaning’ task to me. The speed of incoming papers and my reading does not match. Whenever I have time to relax, I see the papers and start browsing them. It is wonder that I survive through pile of papers.
With the increased means of communication, the communication has not increased. We say the same thing through different media. People send an e-mail, SMS you that the message has been sent, call you to confirm that your received the SMS and then may be – again to be on the safer side – fax you the same matter. So, you end up getting the same message four times! And with multiple e-mail addresses, even God would be confused enough to save us.
Interestingly, I do not throw all the papers in the waste basket in the first round. Some, I feel are still important and I keep it in the corner – until the corner becomes too big to neglect. Shifting a problem is a strategy which fails over a time though it provides you temporary relief. In the next cleaning act, these lucky papers certainly go, but they get a lease of life for some time. Some papers I keep with the intention of using the ‘back side’ for printing. It hardly happens as we have a common printer in the office. By the time I reach the printer, my pages are already printed on a brand new A4 paper! You see, I have a problem of plenty though the plenty is nothing but ‘one side used papers’. A4 only.
And the chain of ‘saving and copying’ leads to another time consuming action – cleaning your PC. Either I am cleaning my office PC or home PC or papers from my trey. I also clean my mobile by deleting SMS. I am involved in cleaning my inbox – as many as three ids. Oops, and there is the ‘sent’ folder which needs cleaning too.
I can happily claim that I am regularly involved in Clean Act. In the process, I clean my brain too. I don’t remember anything at the end of the day. It is in a way, blessing …….