I was going to write this week about the value of making a planning list and checking it twice. However, something happened last night that changed my mind. I found two items in one of my filing cabinets. Immediately.
A couple of years ago, I did a massive reordering of my filing system, and I've been able to maintain it. Yesterday, I needed a couple of journals that had published my nonfiction so I could make clippings to submit to still another publication with new work. I found what I wanted immediately, but not because I remembered exactly where they were. I found them immediately because because I went to the drawer marked essays and pulled it open. Then I saw that I had a section for completed, published work. Files for both essays were there, and each file included a few copies of the journals in which the essays were published.
Finding a magazine sounds like a small thing. But those publications mean the difference between being able to make a submission or not make it. If I hadn't had them carefully filed away, I would have had to look for them. Hunting for things takes time, time I could spend writing.
As it turns out, I did a lot of writing and research today because I didn't have to hunt through the entire office looking for those back copies of The Horn Book and English Journal.
Maintain order + filing = time for work.