Organize Your Files and Save Valuable Time

Organize your files. You might lead a multi-billion dollar global empire, but if your own desk and filing is an utter disaster, you're probably not as efficient or effective as you could be.

Digital or paper, files that have order are easier to access, and information is more often there when you need it. 

Where do you put your files so you will find them again without turning the whole place upside down? I heard about the following three file categories years ago and they have served me well ever since.

Working Files: These are the actual files you are working on every day. You need them right at hand so you can take immediate action.

Reference Files: These are the files that you might want access to from time to time.

Archive: These are files of past work that you rarely, if ever need to access again but want to keep on file just in case.

"Everyone has two jobs. The first is doing their job, and the second is improving the way they do their job."

Masaaki Imai

Five Days of Coaching to Organize Your Files



Time for a reality check.  Take a look at your filing system, both paper and computer.  Does it represent chaos or order? What degree of complexity does it require? Do others handle it for you? When you need to find vital information, is it a frustrating, irritating or smooth process?  Commit to any needed changes.

The Coach asks:

  • How fast can you retrieve information or files that you need right now? What does this tell you? 
  • Take a look at how you store information. Answer the questions above. 
  • How important is it to you to organize your files? How will that help you do better and be more productive?
  • What attitude has held you back from getting organized? What's the story you tell yourself? What would you like to change? How does your self-talk need to change? Commit to those changes.


Assess what work needs to be done.  Make today a preparation day. Assemble any supplies you or your staff need. Set aside the time to actually organize. 

The Coach asks:

  • I don't know how complex a "system" you are looking at. Is it personal? Or for your whole company? (Yes, sometimes it's that bad.) Set aside the time you will need to get started at this. 
  • Make sure you have what you need to start getting organized. Whether it's paper-based or digital, get everything at your fingertips. 
  • Determine the scope of your task. What exactly needs to be done? Will you follow the simple system I outlined at the beginning? Or, do you have something better? 
  • Adopt a good, finally get-it-done attitude as you approach your work. 


Implement the system with any modifications that will fit your working needs.  Once it is in place, follow it exactly and you will increase your effectiveness substantially.

The Coach asks:

  • Implement your system of organization. Get the job done, knowing it may take a while to get used to it. Knowing it may not be perfect, but it will be a lot better than the haphazard method you're letting go. 
  • Make sure everyone who needs to access information through the new system, knows how to do it. And ensure that everyone uses the new system as it was designed to be used. 
  • Stay with it. Use it faithfully, and it will return benefits.  


Apply the system to your computer – working, reference and archive.  So much time is lost because of poor file organization.  This may be quite a task for you, but persevere.  It will pay off handsomely when in some critical conversation you need to access just the right information and you have it at your fingertips.

The Coach asks:

  • A specific word about your computer filing. If you will use the "working, reference, archive" format outlined above, you will make a big dent in your frustration level. You'll be able to find information faster. 
  • If you don't know how to do this organization, delegate someone who can. Lt them get it set up for you. 


Implement the system organization-wide.  Take the benefits of organization and multiply them exponentially.  The returns will be worth it.

The Coach asks:

  • If there are benefits to be accrued by taking the time to organize your files, institute in everywhere there is a need for better organization of information and files. Take it organization-wide if need be. 

Spiritual Reflection for Christian Leaders


As a Christian Executive Leadership Coach I encourage Christian leaders to reflect on God's Word to add to their wisdom.

  • 1 Cor 14:40  Everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.
  • 1 Cor 14:33  For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.
  • Pr 24:27  Put your outdoor work in order and get your fields ready; after that, build your house.
  • 1 Cor 7:35  I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.
  • Hab 2:2  Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald my run with it. 
  • Titus 1:5 The reason I left you in Crete was that you might put in order what was left unfinished ...

If you are a leader, executive, or senior level professional looking to work with a Christian Executive Coach, I invite you to connect with me here.

If appropriate, we can meet by phone or Zoom to discuss your situation.

Record Your Progress

This is your opportunity to track your progress. Start by asking yourself how important this practice is to you? Record the importance as - not at all, somewhat, fairly, highly or extremely. 

Now next to it ask yourself how well you carry out this practice. Record your performance as - very poor, poor, okay, good or very good. 

Importance Performance Check

The things we track, we pay attention to. Across time, come back and record your new results. You will find that as you are intentional about making improvements, you will bump your "score" up higher. 

This is significant. Don't miss the opportunity to acknowledge your success, and use it as a springboard for making even further gain. 


Yes, to organize your files involves discipline. You have to do it consistently each and every day. For busy leaders it can so easily "get away on you." 

But, finding the information you want, when you want it, will prove the benefit of having paid attention to this. 

Contact me here             Privacy Policy

© G.E.Wood and Associates. All Rights Reserved in all media.

G.E. Wood and Associates is an international coaching firm registered in Ontario, Canada
142 Pratt Crescent, Gravenhurst, Ontario, Canada, P1P 1P5