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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Paperwork Dragons & Elephants

A New Year is upon us and we all know what that means: weight loss ads, white sales and New Year’s resolutions to "get more organized."

This "get more organized" resolution usually involves trips to Home Depot or, better yet, the Container Store for organizing supplies.

STOP!!! Don't do it! 

I'm not saying don't ever go to these great places again. I'm a fan and customer of both businesses. What I am going to suggest today and always is that you take on your organization FIRST instead of just throwing on a Band-Aid in the form of storage boxes and folder systems and such. 

“Where do I start?” is probably your first question. I say start with your paperwork, 15 minutes at time.

I know what you are thinking, "Are you nuts? Have you seen my papers?" My answer is, "No." But I have certainly seen mine. 

You have probably attempted to slay the "paper dragon" in many a marathon session only to be burnt out and angry at yourself for not handling all of the paperwork. Then you avoid paperwork for a very, very, very long time and the dragon grows larger.

I suggest that you treat your paperwork as less of a dragon and more of an elephant. Dragons are scary. They fly and they breathe fire. Elephants may be large bit they are docile (unless you mess with one of their babies) and move very slow.

And how do you eat an elephant? You eat it one bite at a time.

You are going to "bite" your paperwork elephant by taking ONLY 15 minutes out of each day to deal with one piece of paper at a time.

Yes, you read it correctly, 15 minutes at a time. No more. No less.

I don't care if you are on a roll after the 15-minutes are up. Stop after 15 minutes.

Yes, yes, I still haven't seen your piles of papers and I don't have to.

ONLY 15 minutes a day. 

Now let's do the math. Multiply 15 minutes by 7 and you have 1 hour and 45 minutes of paperwork handled in 1 week. After a month, you are looking at 7.5 hours spent on paperwork, in bite-size, sanity-saving chunks.

What are you waiting for? Go and eat your paper elephant!!!

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