Lots of paperwork can take a long time to sort through and having it sat on your desk reminding you of how much work you have to do can be a source of stress and anxiety. It is worth investing time into implementing a system for keeping your paperwork in order and handling it efficiently. While you may feel like you don’t have the time to do this right now, it will save you a great deal of time in the long run.
Here are some tips for creating an effective way to organise your paperwork.
Your filing system should relieve you of stress, so don’t make it overly complicated. Create a system that is easy to use so that you can remember where everything is, and easy to explain to others if necessary.
It may seem trivial, but colour-coding your files isn’t just a way to make them look pretty. Colours can make your files much easier to separate and find when you need them.
The filing cabinet you use for your papers should be chosen carefully. If you are going to be storing a lot of papers in it, then it needs to be made of a strong enough material to bear the weight of your work. Avoid trying to save money by going for a cheap filing cabinet.
If you are handling important and perhaps confidential documents, then it is important that you keep them safe but that they are still easy for you to access. Filing cabinets with drawers that you can lock may be a good investment for these.
Having a filing system with hundreds of categories and subcategories will make your paperwork even more stressful than it was before you came up with the system, taking up a lot of space and making it difficult to keep track of things. Your categories for filing papers in should more general.
You can also keep your papers more organised on your desk. If you have a big enough space, then it is a good idea to have multiple baskets for categorising your papers and what needs doing with them. You could have a basket of papers that need acting on, ones that need paying, ones that need filing, and ones that you still need to read, for example.
Make it a habit to sort through your papers on a regular basis to keep everything in order, and to stop you getting overwhelmed with piles of papers. You could get in the habit of filing all of your papers at the end of each week, for example.