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The Paper Tiger Blog contains great ideas on better ways to stay organized, clear your desk, reduce stress and spend less time managing information.

Organizing Lessons for Accomplishing More

Regardless of whether you are running a business, clearing the clutter in your home or office, planning your family vacation, searching for a new job, or preparing for a move, getting organized is key. Juggling your life activities can be overwhelming, but  Paper Tiger Filing System software is a great place to start with your quest for getting organized.

Think about the following questions for a minute:

  • Are you working a lot more than usual or busy with so many different things that you feel guilty because you’re not taking care of yourself?
  • Are you frequently overwhelmed?
  • Do you frequently start new projects, but have a hard time finishing anything?
  • Do you have more “to-do’s” than you have time for and you’re discouraged with your progress?
  • Do you spend more time than you care to admit on things you dislike to do?

Getting organized and being able to maintain a certain amount of organization is so important to your quality of life. Of course, you have to answer what ‘quality of life’ means to you, but you might find the list below helpful in getting to your sweet spot. Implement the steps that apply to you, and see how much stress is relieved by just doing one thing to help you work less and accomplish more!

  • Set aside some time to identify what really matters to you in life, and create a vision for what you want to accomplish. You should schedule this time on your calendar. Yes, make an appointment with yourself! Go to a relaxing place where you can unplug for a while. Give yourself an opportunity to think without all the distractions. Create a vision for your life and write it down. Decide what steps you need to take to get to your vision.
  • Think about what it is that you do best and spend the majority of your time doing it. Do you know your strengths? Are you struggling trying to do projects that you’re not suited for? If so, you might try an assessment to help you identify your strengths and talents. One that has been highly recommended is VIA Institute on Character. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses could help you to surround yourself with people that are more suited to do the functions or projects where you are not suited. Continue to ask yourself, “is this the best use of my time?”
  • Make your office a place where you can get things done. Organize your office in a way that works for you. No two people are alike so there is really not a right or wrong way; it just needs to work for you. If you need help getting organized and setting up a system that works for you, consider hiring a productivity expert. We have several certified Paper Tiger productivity experts listed on our website for you to choose from. This will be a small investment compared to the amount of time and money you’ll save when you can find things when you need them, as well as learn to work more productively and efficiently.
  • Use technology tools to help streamline your life. I’m sure you’ve heard that ‘half of any job is using the right tool’ and ‘using’ would be the keyword here. You have to use the tools that are available to you to help your workflow, help you maintain organization, and/or time-management. On the other hand, trying to use tools that just don’t work for your lifestyle is also a waste of time and money. Can you find anything in just a few seconds or do you waste time and energy searching through box after box, or file drawer after file drawer? Or maybe you have stacks all over your office. Do you waste time searching through stacks and stacks of paper files? Are you afraid to file an important document in its place because you might not remember what name you filed it under? Paper Tiger can help solve many organizing problems, and it’s definitely the right tool for indexing your paper files and other physical items that you need to keep track of so that you can later find what you need.
  • Organizing is a way of life, not a destination. Organizing is a continual process of reassessing what you like, does it work, and then change it if it doesn’t work. Start with rearranging the top of your desk so that everything is more convenient for how you work.
    • Remember today’s mail is tomorrow’s pile, unless you have a plan or system in place to handle what is coming in everyday. We recommend that you begin with the papers on your desk and index them into Paper Tiger’s database. Then take one stack at a time, indexing into Paper Tiger and file what you need to keep, tossing or shredding what is not needed, and put actionable things in a daily or monthly tickler or follow up system.
    • Put like things together. In Paper Tiger, you can create separate ‘locations’ for personal papers, active projects, CDs, clients, books, etc. See this article for more help on creating locations: Customize Your Filing System with Paper Tiger’s Indexing Method
    • You also need to think about a clean-out plan for tossing what is no longer necessary to keep. See this article for more help on creating a record retention policy for document management.

Trying a different way of filing or getting organized overall is sometimes a stumbling block for people, but we have so many that tell us they couldn’t live without Paper Tiger Filing System software. Some say that Paper Tiger has changed their lives. Don’t worry about making mistakes; just keep organizing and index what you can into Paper Tiger. You’ll be surprised the next time you need to find something and you’re able to search in the software and actually find it in seconds!

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