Ways to Combat Paper Kryptonite

Sorting and purging paper can be an arduous task for many people. We know this because we receive calls from inquirers on a weekly basis. Although it is one of those things none of us can avoid, there are many strategies for handling what some people perceive as their personal paper Kryptonite.

So what are some helpful ways you can go about handling your paper flux on your own?

  • Set Realistic Expectations– Remind yourself the paper piles did not appear overnight, and so they will not disappear that quickly either. Set realistic expectations for the time you will allot daily or weekly to manage paperwork. Don’t commit to sitting for a whole day, or even an hour to sort and file paperwork if you know you won’t be able to do it. Even if you work a small area for as little as 10 minutes at a time, reward yourself. Slowly and steadily you will see improvement.
  • Sort the New Before the Old– Organize the most recent paperwork first so you’ll be sure to find bills or other papers requiring your immediate attention. Any old papers can wait a little longer-they have surely already waited quite a long time.
  • Manage Distractions– Many of our clients have been diagnosed with ADHD. It can be a challenge for them to stay focused on tedious paperwork filing and bill paying for long periods of time. Try keeping a kitchen timer at your desk and set it for a reasonable amount of time during your paperwork processing session. During that time, don’t answer the phone, check email or divert yourself to any other distractions. When the timer beeps, reward yourself for a job well done!
  • Decide What to Keep/Toss– A common fear among our clients is parting with something very important and then never having access to it again. Look at this proposition in another light. Most documents you need are readily available online, including bills and bank statements. Information in your magazines and newspapers quickly become antiquated. The most up-to-date information is available online. Cancel subscriptions to periodicals you have no time to read and catalogs from which you don’t want to order. Unsubscribe from unwanted catalogs and other unsolicited mail. If you stop paper from coming to you in the first place, you won’t have to make decisions on it later.
  • Use technology to combat your paper Kryptonite– Sign up for automatic systems such as online bill pay, automatic checking withdrawal, emailed statements and direct deposit. They take up no space in your home or office, but give you access to your financial data at the click of your mouse.

Remember-paper does not have to be your nemesis. We can all be superheroes when it comes to our paper piles!

Next week…keeping Kryptonite out of your your computer inbox.

Jenny Power 1/13/14