Paperwork-The necessary evil?!
Do you feel like Paperwork is:
a waste of time
a mindless task
an evil necessity of being human in the 21st century.
What if Paperwork could be:
a simple and easy task to be enjoyed with a cup of tea and music?
a scheduled part of your week?
a satisfying endeavor because you have a great system in place that allows you to find WHAT you need WHEN you need it?
Living in the 21st century means you deal with paperwork and a lot of it. Paperwork in and of itself is not evil. However it is an unwieldy monster when we do not have a system for handling it (whether we are talking about digital paperwork or actual hard copies).
As an entrepreneur you have more paperwork than the average person and if you are working from home then you have more paperwork around than most people.
What to do?
For starters, keep your personal and professional files separate.
Next what are your big categories? Income, expenses, clients, reference materials…
Then make file folders within your big categories.
In my expense section of my business filing cabinet are the file folders for Automotive Expenses, Office Supplies, Dues and Subscriptions, etc.
In my personal files I have a large category called Medical then each family member has their own file folder within the Medical category.
My 2 biggest pieces of advice to set yourself free from the paperwork monster are:
#1) Start today. Don’t worry about going back through all past files. Start with fresh files today then over time you can go back and sift through the old files-or not.
#2) Schedule a time each week to address your paperwork. What can be thrown out or shredded immediately, what needs your attention, and then what is ready to file. Paperwork does not demand our most creative brain especially once we have a system! So, schedule it for your afternoon slump with music on and a cup of tea. Or a piece of chocolate! Then set the timer for 45 minutes and just do it.
I end up talking a lot about paperwork with my clients because it can be such a beast and such a time suck. How many times have you wasted time because you couldn’t find that file or receipt?
Please post your questions and comments. If you would like assistance in creating a system for your paperwork then contact me. Paperwork does not have to be a monster.