Do You Struggle with Paper Clutter?
Do you find that you struggle with paper clutter? This seems to be the area that both businesses and homeowners struggle with the most. It doesn’t matter if you are a small home-based business or a Corporate CEO…too much paperwork can be stressful.
This week I helped a Direct Sales Consultant work through her piles of paperwork. Her personal experience and the reason for her paper clutter was typical. There was a time that everything used to be organized. All of her paperwork used to be filed and was always kept neat and orderly and she never looked for anything. Then, unexpectedly, life happened and handling the paperwork became too stressful for her to deal with on a daily basis.
Let the Pile Management Begin
When life happened, paperwork went into piles, stacks, bins and got tucked into boxes to deal with at a later point. The only problem is that it did not take too long before the paperwork was too overwhelming to deal with and the project of sorting through it all seemed too daunting and impossible to achieve without help. And, the stress of looking for one piece of paper was costing time and money. Something had to be done. It was easier to simply put it into one of the many boxes that were already piled high and hope that it would not be needed at a later point.
The Basics of a Paper Management System
In just 4 short hours we touched every piece of paper in the room and sorted it into one of four categories…business, medical, personal and work. As expected, over half of the paperwork was related to her Direct Sales Business.
As we sorted through the paperwork, we also found items that needed a special home. We found “Action Items” that needed her attention. The action items were set aside to ensure that these were the first items on her To Do List for the following day. Even though it seemed as if there was still a ton of paperwork left, it was beginning to become manageable. We were finding light at the end of the tunnel simply because we now were able to identify the next step in the organizing process. Having all of the categories sorted made it easy to begin setting up her specific paper management system.
Developing a Paper Management System
Developing a Paper Management System is not a one-size fits all. Your reason for paper clutter may be the same as your friend, neighbor or colleague. However, the answer to your paper management system will not be the same as anyone else. Your paper management system must be personalized to fit your specific needs and your organizing style. The only similarity with every paper management system is that it must be easy and simple to follow. This will allow you to explain your system to someone else…so that when you are ready, you can hire an assistant or ask someone else to help you with the filing of the paperwork.