Drowning in paperwork? Overwhelmed with your to do list?
You’re not alone. It’s hard to focus on anything when you’re in a mess. Your confidence takes a beating and you feel anxious and stressed. Not to mention snappy with loved ones.
You just KNOW you’ve forgotten something important, you arrive late, leave early, say no to invitations because you don’t have time. If enough’s enough, read on.
Step 1 – Don’t stress. We’ve got you covered. In fact, we’ve helped around 20,000 people sort their mess out and fall in love with their new system for managing paperwork and emails. We’ve done it for big businesses as well. With our help and your determination to get and stay organised, you’ll nail it in no time.
Step 2 – Start fresh today. Don’t look back. Simply forgive yourself for getting into a mess – it happens to the best of us. Now commit to a new system and new way of doing things.
Step 3 – Set up your new paperwork system first before you touch any of your paper or emails. Your system needs to include five main features:
1. an in-tray,
2. a set of folders to separate and contain your regular ‘to dos’ – like Bills to Pay, Correspondence To Complete, Blog to Post, Transactions to enter, Items to read, Contacts to enter, etc.
3. A set of folders for each of your projects – like Summer Holiday, Sale of Car, School enrolments, Business Launch event, etc
4. A set of folders for all the other paperwork and e-mails you need to keep to refer to but you don’t need to act on. Let’s call these your reference library. Important documents like birth certificates, passports, marriage certificate. Another reference folder might contain all your vehicle information, another your health records.
5. And finally the out ‘system’ which is where the paper and e-mails ‘exit’ your life forever – either off to the next stage in the journey, or to the bin or the scanner or into archives (for family history, financial or legal reasons).
Step 4 – create some rules to live by. Each regular ‘to do’ file needs a day of the week that you’ll attend to it. Put it in your diary. Likewise with your projects – what day will you do them on? Decide how many projects is enough in your life at any one time. We recommend no more than 7 or it’s too hard to move them forward. Focus is key.
Step 5 – get an accountability partner to help you and join our member program. We’ll give you all the training and support for setting up your new system and coach you until its second nature.
Brigitte’s book Organise your Paperwork is available in Officeworks stores nationwide