Staying on Top of Paperwork
Have you ever had the feeling that you simply cannot get ahead on your paperwork, and that it keeps piling up? Staying on top of paperwork is perhaps one of the single most difficult tasks that many people can find themselves faced with. However, there are a few methods that you can use to not only get ahead on the paperwork, but to actually stay there.
- Create templates. One of the keys to staying on top of paperwork is to actually create a few simple templates. These templates should be a skeleton of what your completed paperwork looks like. One way to think of these templates is that they are going to be "worksheets" that you can fill out later on. By taking the time to make a few templates on your computer, you can actually save yourself an immense amount of time from having to recreate the basics of your work week after week.
- Fill them out as you go. As you go through your work week, fill out your templates. When you begin filling out the templates, make sure that you save it under a different name, since this will allow you to keep the original template separate. Do not worry about filling out every bit of the paperwork right away, but rather as you get the information. If you have information that is applicable to some work that is due two weeks from now, go ahead and write it down now. This way you not only don't forget the information, but get ahead on your work just a bit.
- Grab opportunities as they come. Take advantage of your free time to get ahead on your work as much as possible. For example, when you are waiting for a meeting, or a phone call, instead of sitting there doing nothing use the time to get ahead on the work you have due. You will be amazed at how quickly those five or ten minutes add up to a completed project.
- Be organized. Perhaps the single most important key to staying on top of paperwork is to be organized. Have your paperwork as organized as possible, knowing what you need to keep and what you need to get rid of, as well as what you are still working on, all separated from each other. This way you don't have to worry about searching through endless piles of paper to find that one piece of data that you need. Once you have a working filing or storage system, maintain it.
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