6 Ways to Deal with Paperwork!

By , March 20, 2011 6:39 pm

I have to confess that paperwork and administrative stuff isn’t my strength. I think I’m safe to say that it’s not one of my Unique Abilities!

In the past I found any excuse not to have to do it!

The teenage tantrum voice in my head gets a little ‘uppity’ when I’m faced with paperwork because she sees it as BOR-ING! If allowed to get her own way, the paperwork and admin’ stack gets bigger and BIGGER. Enter procrastination and excuses about ‘not having the time’ or ‘I’ll get around to it later!’ or a personal favourite: ‘I’ll do it tomorrow!’

Inevitably… the hord of paperwork  forms a ‘holding pattern’ spilling out from an over-stuffed intray waiting for Paper-Traffic Control to sit down and just sort it out! This happens only when there is no more visible free space left on the desk!

Once a stack of paperwork gets to certain height, then you have a stability problem… the whole thing is in danger of falling over a bit like Jenga bricks! Honestly, in the past, I have been known to start a second stack at this point!

Along with the stacks of paper comes overwhelm, guilt, stress and anxiety that something very important may have been missed. I feel totally out of control.

Are you familiar with any of this?

Seriously…The only thing you should be scared of with paperwork is a paper cut!

Here’s 6 ways to blast through your paperwork and take control back…

  1. Stop Making Excuses – Saying that you are ‘crap at paperwork’ doesn’t solve the paperwork problem. It keeps the issue external to you so you can blame your personality or parents instead! Take 100% responsibility for the situation and change it. Decide to deal with it by focusing your energy on clearing the back log a little at a time in a structured way.
  2. Take time to make time – Paperwork won’t get done unless you schedule some time in advance to specifically deal with it. I schedule a 1 hour paperwork block of time from 8-9 am every Friday morning when I’m working from home. I feel great afterwards because I know that I’ll be starting my weekend from a physically and mentally lighter place. I have taken some control back.
  3. Close everything else down – Turn off the phone, close down your emails (Unless specifically needed for actioning paperwork!) and any other programmes that could distract you. Focus on the stack one thing at a time and nothing else.
  4. Do it First Thing – This is VERY liberating. My expenses are the first action on my schedule every Monday morning. I show up and I get them done! JUST DOING IT makes me feel lighter because I can then concentrate on my High Value Work without being held to ransom by an inner chorus of should’s, must’s or ought to’s. I release the negative energy of having to do and replace it with it’s just what I do.
  5. Batch it – Plan your paperwork by batching it into similar activities. For example, I work on my expenses and invoicing in the same time slot because they are connected. I send workshop PowerPoint slides to delegates as I’m returning course attendance lists to clients. Get clear on what paperwork you are going to work on before you sit down to do it. Start small, do a bit at a time – but little and often. Create a positive habit. The stack will reduce and you’ll start to feel momentum and more in control.
  6. Create a Paperwork System – You may have a process for handling admin’ and paperwork already but if it isn’t working well, step back and explore how you can handle it better. Implement your plan. This may involve automation, using better software, getting a VA (Virtual Assistant) to delegate some of the basic stuff to save you time or deleting processes that no longer serve you. Improve your processes and you’ll improve your productivity.

It’s only paperwork after all! Claim your power back and blast through it!

Mwahahaha… look out paperwork here I come!

I’m a lean and mean paperwork blasting machine!

2 Responses to “6 Ways to Deal with Paperwork!”

  1. I think I’ll start with #s 2, 3, and 4, and make that a habit. Sounds like my Wednesday mornings from 8 – 9 AM are gonna look a bit different from now on! I think I’m going to LIKE being all caught up (and having a bit of extra desk space where the piles used to be….).

  2. elaine says:

    Go Mary Go!!! Making 2,3, and 4 a habit is a great way to blast that paperwork! 🙂

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