Keeping organized is a vital part of time management. One of the easiest areas to fall behind is in managing your paperwork. Letting invoices and check stubs stack up at random is very easy to do, but eventually you’re going to have to organize them.
The simplest way to manage paperwork is to have a good filing system for it. Figure out the best way to organize your papers. Invoices, check stubs and so forth are probably best filed in order by month or year, if you think you can keep it organized in a single file.
Organized paperwork is important for many reasons. It helps you find old invoices if you need to refer back to them, such as when a customer is late in paying. It is a big help when it is time to pay taxes. We won’t even get into how much of a help it will be in the case of an audit!
Another important thing to do is to throw out unnecessary paperwork immediately. Junk mail, old notes and random scraps of paper quickly create clutter if not controlled. When you get the mail, throw out the junk immediately. Put the rest where you will go through it promptly, or even do it right then; just don’t toss it where you’ll forget about it for a week or more. Similarly, if you put up a note to remind yourself to do something, once it is done get rid of that note!
Much like paperwork, you should keep your computer files organized. These days it is not at all unusual to do all your bookkeeping on the computer, as well as notes to run your business, advertising materials and so forth. Start out by making a business folder, then use subfolders to keep track of everything. There are few things more frustrating than not being able to find a file you know is on your hard drive somewhere!
Well managed paperwork will save you tremendous frustration and really help you to manage your time. It will cut down on the time lost to looking for this and that. A couple hours spent now getting organized and planning how you will keep organized will save you many more hours in the future.
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