Simplified 365: The Office - Day 1: Before You Begin

Simplified 365: The Office - Day 1: Before You Begin

Welcome to the 4th month!  You’ve survived and thrived after organizing your kitchen, closet and bedroom.  This month we’re moving on to the office and paperwork. Papers can be one of the most frustrating areas in the home.  Not knowing if bills are paid, where an important document is, or what to keep for tax returns can be crazy making.  It’s time to end that!  We are going to sort and tame your papers, clean out that inbox, and create systems to keep everything simplified and organized. 

Here are a few questions to answer before we begin.  Write them down in your journal.  This should take you about 10 minutes.  

1.  What do I absolutely despise about my office, paperwork and/or filing systems? (Messy? Non-functional?)

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2.  Why? (Papers everywhere? Can’t find anything? No systems?)

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3.  What feelings does my office bring up? (Overwhelmed? Sad? Disgusted? Angry? Anxious? Embarrassed?)

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4. How do I want to feel in my office or when dealing with paperwork? (Empowered? On the ball?   Boss AF?)

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Ok, now we have our general feelings in mind, let’s sit with them for a bit.  So you’re feeling overwhelmed with paperwork or your office? Are there any limiting beliefs that come up? What stories are you telling yourself?

  • I just don’t have time to clean this. 
  • I’ll never be organized.
  • What’s the difference, it’s just going to get disorganized again anyway. 
  • No one else will help me keep it clean. 
  • No one appreciates it when it’s clean. 
  • I’m not good at organizing, I don’t really deserve to have a functioning file system.
  • I don’t even have an office, why spend time on office work when I can only work at the kitchen table. 

Let’s discuss these.  

You don’t have time to clean it. But you do have time to search the 19 piles of paperwork scattered about your house when it’s time to file taxes?

I’ll never be organized.  After working with a few hundred clients, I’ve come across approximately 2 that were truly disorganized.  The rest just needed to actually put 5 hours down on their calendar to work on their project. Most people already know how to organize.  I’m betting you do too, you just need to make the time.

It’s just going to get disorganized again anyway.  It might, but you’ll feel better if you clean it now and do weekly touchups to keep it in check.  I’m sure your CPA’s files get a bit crazy during tax time, but what if they just said fuck it and didn’t clean up their desk.  Would you really trust them with your paperwork? No? Why? 

No one else will help me keep it clean.  They won’t?  Ok.  But what if maybe you did this just for you.  Because being on top of your files and paperwork makes you feel like a competent adult?

I don’t work outside the home, so why bother?  Well, if you’re home because you’re raising kids or figuring out what’s next in life, I bet you still have bills to pay, taxes to file and correspondence to send.  Why not make it enjoyable, or at least less frustrating?

I don’t even have an office, just a file box and the kitchen table to work at.  Great!  Less upkeep for you!  Not having a physical office doesn’t give you a free pass on not dealing with paperwork, so let’s make this as pain-free as possible.  A stylish box to hold your office supplies and a portable file-box for any paperwork can make “office work” so much more enjoyable, wherever it actually takes place. 

Good job!  Now that you have your “whys”, you may find you’re motivated to stay on task.  Tape a list of your “whys” to your mirror for extra motivation. We’ll jump in tomorrow and start working toward getting you the office of your dreams. 

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