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Paperwork Got You Down?

Three tips to help you get control of your paperwork.
Written Dec 19, 2011, read 1015 times since then.
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It's almost here - another new year looming just weeks away.  Will this be the year that you fulfill your goals?  Or will you fall short, yet again?  I have found that most businesses have one area within their business that causes more stress and anxiety than any other... paperwork - it causes businesses to fall short in reaching their real goals and dreams.

Business keeps moving forward.  Payments come in and bills are getting paid, somehow.  Yet all the paperwork seems too overwhelming to be able to keep up with it all.  The mail goes unopened (because in the back of your mind, you really know when the payment is due).  You are missing out on opportunities to save money because the mail is not being opened.

The receipts are piled deep and wide or stacked high on a desk just waiting for something to be done with them  But by the time you get around to dealing with the receipts the thought of sorting them all, categorizing them, scanning, documenting them all  just seems like it will take forever.  So what can you do to keep yourself on track?  Here are some tips:

1.  Have a system to store all of your receipts right from the beginning.   Those tiny lunch receipts from your business meetings get lost in a purse or wallet on a weekly basis.   Use a basic coupon holder that you can keep in your purse, car, glove compartment or briefcase.  It should be small and compact.  Instead of having categories for your coupons, use each slot for a month of the year.  File your receipts, deposits and any other paperwork that you need to track into the coupon holder.  Once a week, pull the receipts and document or scan them into your system.  It's that easy.

2. Develop consistency when it comes to opening your mail and make smart decisions, immediately.  All incoming mail goes into one of these categories:  file, pay, shred or trash.  Don't keep what you "think" you will use.  Either you will, or you will not...there are no maybe's!  If it is a coupon - you can find it online...keeping it will only allow paperwork to pile up and by the time you find it, the coupon will be expired anyway! 

3.  Schedule time in your week to be "in" your office.  Obligating yourself to time where you work on your piles of paper will keep you focused and hold you accountable to actually doing the work.  And, I know what you are thinking...I really just don't like to do it, and I don't want to!  Well, get over it.  No matter how technical we become, there will always be paper to deal with.  Along with designating this time, keep yourself focused by turning off your email and phone.  

Keeping control of your paperwork takes dedication and habit.  When you decide to let it wait until later - or next week - you will easily begin to lose confidence in yourself and your abilities to keep afloat.  Don't miss out on the opportunity to keep your paperwork organized - be systematic and accountable to yourself. 

Owner 
Fredericksburg, Virginia 
Linda Clevenger

An UnOrganized Mind does nothing - an Organized Mind Achieves Results.

Learn more about the author, Linda Clevenger.

Comment on this article

  • Web Designer 
Bendigo, Victoria Australia 
Robin Jennings
    Posted by Robin Jennings, Bendigo, Victoria Australia | Jan 03, 2012

    Scheduling a consistent time for the paperwork might seem boring, but 20 minutes per week has to be better than a full week a year.

  • Owner 
Fredericksburg, Virginia 
Linda Clevenger
    Posted by Linda Clevenger, Fredericksburg, Virginia | Jan 03, 2012

    Thanks Robin....you are spot on!

    Linda

  • SEO Consultant 
Jersey City, New Jersey 
Elvis Arias
    Posted by Elvis Arias, Jersey City, New Jersey | Jan 05, 2012

    I agree and I actually learned my lesson one time when I was overwhelmed with tons of paperwork!

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