Apart from staff, paperwork is usually the most stressful aspect of most jobs. It is continual, it grows quicker than most weeds would in any garden. It is impossible to get through it, making it hard to relax knowing you always have a tray of things to do.

I tried tricking my brain to believe paperwork was fun, but who has fun paying accounts?

I felt slightly better about it, but the pile on my desk was not getting smaller. Being a slave to your paperwork does not reward you in any way.

There is a better system to deal with it, here are four processes I use with every piece of paperwork that comes into my space.

  1. Automation:
    Recurring accounts can be set up to be paid automatically from your bank account. It may take an initial outlay of time, but it is well worth the effort in the long run. That goes for anything that is recurring, take the time to put good systems in place to help remind you, the phone or your planner are useful tools for this.
    Plan for the important things like rosters, wages and accounts to be done at the same time each week or month, then do not worry about them until that time comes around, that way you “release and let go”.
  1. Delegation:
    If someone else can do it, delegate it. Even if you feel no one can do your job better than yourself, which may be correct, squeezing jobs in and rushing them, is not better than delegating to someone who has more time than you. Done is better than perfect. I recommend not to delegate the important things you need to have control over, like your rosters, wages, profit and loss, etc. it is best to keep on the pulse with these.
  1. Deletion:
    I love this one, unless it is something you legally must do, or it will make a difference in your bottom line, or someone else’s…then delete it. You do not have to reply to everything that comes across your desk. Much of the information you receive has been sent randomly to many people and unless it is specific and direct for you, they won’t even know you have not replied. Be comfortable to throw it away, I know that comes with fear “What if I need it”, the truth is if it is not important now, it probably is not going to be important later. It is refreshing to not get bogged down on the small stuff, it just steals time that is better spent.
  1. Deferral:
    This is for the “not so important things”, things you want to follow through with yourself, just the timing is not right.
    Keep these separate in your inspiration box, the box full of things you want to get to, paperwork and ideas that are full of value. Only go to this box when your “must do” jobs are completed, or if you want inspiration. Because you have called it your inspiration box you look forward to it rather than feel weighed down by it.

These processes can be used with your emails and text messages, it is the same process. Good luck finding time for the fun stuff!


Marie Temby, author of “Simple Soulful Successful“