7 ways to obliterate paperwork stress
Yes! Admin day is finally over *Sign of relief*. I wish I had a cheese and wine night planned for tonight. That would make me so happy.
Today I am writing an article/blog/whatever to remind me how I am able to get into the frame of mind necessary for completing all my paperwork. Paperwork is the least interesting aspect of being in business and property so I tend to be several months behind on dealing with it. As you can imagine, it builds up. However, today I finally completed all the paperwork and my office is much cleaner! More importantly, I am proud of what I have accomplished today.
What does my paperwork include?
- Filing bank and credit card statements
- Paying utility bills, service charges, invoices… parking fines :S
- Setting up direct debits to reduce time spent on the above bullet point
- Printing off bills sent online
1. File statements from bank accounts and credit card statements in SEPARATE folders
I helped set up four different companies this year. Each business has a different bank account. I have debit cards, pin numbers, login details etc for each business, it was a nightmare keeping on top of.
Login details and PIN numbers for everything are now stored in the same place in each business’s folder. You can say what you want about security. For me, it is about ease of access and practicality.
Every time I hide something or make it cryptic, I can never remember the place or what my coding system was. I then spend hours on the phone to the bank asking them to reissue my login details/PINs etc, but oh wait. They can’t. First they need to do a security check and want the first and third letter of a password I have forgotten.
This dramatically slows me down on bill paying. If I don’t keep on top of the bills I get chased by our suppliers, and I hate being chased.
2. Isolate yourself from everyone
Admin is mind numbing. Everyone suffers from shiny object syndrome while doing their admin. Find a room (ideally your office where all your folders and stationary is) and shut the door. Make sure no one disturbs you.
If someone asks you to do something which is non-urgent, tell them you can’t do it now but advise they put it to you in an email. You can deal with it later.
3. Do not check emails
If something is urgent people will call you. If you have urgent emails to send, do it before you start the paperwork.
Checking your email distracts you from getting through the paperwork. I have to restrain myself from checking emails. I know when I check my email, I am programmed to respond and deal with the contents. When you begin (at least for me) responding to emails it usually opens up another can of worms and more paperwork. Deal with the paperwork you have got, before acquiring more.
4. Food and movement
Stock your fridge with healthy food the night before and plan your meals for the day. Sugary, starchy foods, and too much caffeine, negatively impacts our ability to focus. If you want to get your admin done as quickly and effectively as possible, you need to maintain a consistent energy level.
Personally, my body and mind work more effectively when I eat small portions of healthy food throughout the day. E.g. five mushrooms dipped in hummus, an apple, Zucchini and hummus (basically anything with hummus is great).
It’s important to take regular breaks and move our bodies around. I usually do press-ups or dance around the lounge if I am working from my home office. If you are in a public office, try going for a brisk walk or to a park and run on the spot. All I am trying to do is get the blood pumping around my body. This helps me stay alert and focused.
6. Listen to a Youtube motivational talk or your favourite music
The majority of my paperwork is basic sorting and filing. It really is mind-numbing and can be done without much thought. Having something useful or enjoyable on in the background helps pass the time and makes my paperwork hours fun or educational.
7. Have a big desk or a big floor to organise initial paperwork
Although I try to self-organise paperwork in nice compartments, a large amount of receipts, bills, contracts are left in a pile. With a big desk or empty floor space, I can organise my paperwork into which business or property they relate to. Within the properties, I have subdivided my receipts further into months. Within the months, I organise the receipts into travel, utilities, subsistence and whatever else my accountant prefers.
It is so easy to think “if I did my paperwork at the end of every week, I wouldn’t then have to face this paper mountain!” Of course, it isn’t really a mountain but it feels like it is. Dealing with the paper mountain simply isn’t as exciting as looking at new deals, swapping transformational tips with other investors and business owners, attending and networking events, and helping people understand their finances and reduce their costs (I’m addicted to helping people budget for success).
So that’s all for now. Hope you are able to use some of my story to help you get through your paperwork.
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