What Do you Do with All the Paper?
I hear it from just about everyone that I work with…what do you do with all the paper? There are files, paperwork, mail, coupons, and receipts. Before you know it everything it piled high on top of counter tops, desktops, boxes and maybe even the floor.
This is why it is so important to develop a routine to handle your paperwork. Too much time is wasted every day handling paperwork. Statistics say that the average person spends 1 hour a day looking for paperwork. This adds up to the equivalent of a 2 week vacation every year. I don’t know about you, but I’m not willing to give up my vacation!
There are multiple levels of handling your paperwork. And, I don’t think that the internet has helped us with our paper struggles. If anything, it could have added to the stress of too much paperwork. Why? Because, certain personalities will still print out their receipts for purchases, emails and documents because they are afraid of losing them. It is a true concern that can easily develop into the overwhelm of not just too much paperwork but too many emails. The emails can, ultimately, slow down or shut down your computer. Then, there is the whole issue of purging. That just adds to the list of things that you already don’t have time To Do.
This is why a system is so important. When I started my business, I quickly learned that paperwork was one of my client’s biggest struggles. It occupied not just their time and energy, but also their space. This is why, I knew that there needed to be an answer – and that it needed to be multi-level.
The steps involved in paperwork include: sorting, handling, filing, following-up, storing, and eliminating.
Sorting is the easiest part – you can begin sorting through what you don’t need to keep. Making that decision is easy.
Handling can be a bit more difficult. The one thing that handling your mail doesn’t include is dropping it on the nearest flat surface. A system is required to handle paperwork on a daily basis – and it needs to be simple.
Filing paperwork is one of those necessary evils because without a good and constructive filing system, you won’t be able to find what you are looking for when you need it – and that causes stress.
Storing paperwork can be done physically through a good filing system, or, I prefer to store my paperwork on the Cloud. Of course, that is another issue – because I don’t want to lose my paperwork so the system that I use has to be secure. Free cloud storage is not even a consideration.
And, lastly, eliminating the paperwork can be stressful and yet very freeing! Releasing piles of papers that you no longer need will save time and space. Of course, any paperwork with identifying information on it should be shredded.
Oops…I neglected to talk about original paperwork that does not fit into any of these categories. That is original paperwork such as Life Insurance Policies, Deeds and Mortgage information, Social Security Numbers, DD214 for military members and your Will and other legal documents. This can also include a place to store a copy of your driver’s license. For these items I use a system called Life in Case.
I have the answer to all of these dilemmas. For a filing system, check out my File It,Find It…FAST system. This teaches you the habits of handling paperwork every day. (And this includes setting up an effective filing system that can work for your home or office). To store information on the Cloud, I use a business/home /management software program called MobilLogic. After doing a ton of research, I find that it met all of my needs (and much, much more) along with giving me the level of confidence that my information is secure.
So, what do you do with all that paper? I’d love to hear your stories.