Procrastination

Tips To Eliminate Procrastination

With the start of spring and warm weather, it gets even more challenging to focus on the tasks you know you need to get done. Try these suggestions to stop the games you play with yourself to avoid the task at hand.

1) Add planning time to your day to decide what must get done.

2) Confront the task or project you have let slide. Is is still a priority? No? Take it off your list.

3) Write down specific steps to complete the project and estimate how long each step will take.

4) Decide what will make the task as easy as possible. A larger work surface? Last year’s documents? Uninterrupted time?

5) Set the mood. What external stimuli will entice you to get started? Music and snacks often the task more enjoyable.

6) Tackle the first step. If you have time, continue. If not, leave the next step for later.

7) Ask a trusted friend or colleague to help you get started.

What a feeling of relief and satisfaction knowing that the project is done — or, at least, started.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to get to the project I’ve been putting off.

 

 

How To Get Your Taxes Done by April 15th

If you have put off taxes, and many people have, there is still time to buckle down and finish them before April 15th. Asking for an extension just prolongs the misery and weighs you down. You know they need to be done so why not just get on with it? Now. There is no more time left to procrastinate.

How to start? Here are 10 easy-to-follow steps:

1) Set up a date to meet with your accountant, if you use one.
2) Schedule time on your calendar to work on your taxes (and only your taxes in this allotted time). Be sure to keep the appointments.
3) If your accountant has given you a worksheet, read it through carefully it so you know exactly what is needed.
4) Pull out all of your papers and divide them into categories. Print the documents that are on the computer or copy them onto a USB or CD for the accountant.
5) Sort the papers again, this time into subcategories. For example, you might begin with a stack labeled clients and gradually whittle it down to a number of individual clients.
6) Write down your questions so you do not forget to ask your accountant or a knowledgeable source.
7) Call for the documents that are missing.
8) Label each stack of documents, using binder clips to separate them. While all of these stacks may not be needed for the accountant or the IRS, it helps to stack them in an organized pile.
9) Put in as much energy and time as needed to finish the job on time. Forego weekends and week nights, if that is what it takes.
10) Make sure the government office signs a receipt and returns it to you. Keep the receipt in your tax file. If the IRS later on says that they never received your taxes, you have the proof that they were sent. This happens more than you may realize.

Now sit back and relax while your friends and colleagues scurry around in panic mode trying to meet their extension dates because they put their taxes off. And you didn’t!

How to Sort Paper

 

Most everyone finds it challenging to keep track of the sheer bulk of paper even in this electronic age. If you are not happy with the mess of paper on your desk or if you can’t find what you need quickly, you may be delaying making decisions. These tips will help guide you through the maze.

First, schedule several hours of non-work time to organize papers in your office.

Clear a workspace area for sorted papers.

Follow the F.A.T. System for sorting paper, notebooks, files, and binders.

  • File: “F” stands for File. Label one of your boxes “File” and sort the following into it:
      — Keep active to-do’s close at hand
      — Move files used less often to other areas.
  • Act: “A” stands for Action. Designate a box for Action items and use it for papers on which you need to do something (e.g., send an email, process a file, make a phone call, discuss with someone, etc.). This means that you perform the necessary items on this piece of paper TODAY. Once you’ve completed these items, the paper should be filed, re-routed to someone else or discarded.
  • Toss: “T” stands for toss. Be brutal. Can it be retrieved again? Is it out-of-date? Does someone else have the information? Purge, purge, purge.

Imagine doing this same process daily except, of course, on a much smaller scale.

Now you’ll have control of your paper instead of it controlling you!

Managing Your Clients and Your Office

Leslie Walden from It’s Time To Get Organized spoke at the Georgia Association of Women Lawyers (GAWL) mid-year meeting  November 5, 2010. The interactive workshop provided practical ways to manage time more effectively, handle work load more efficiently, streamline office procedures, and maintain and build stronger client relationships. Attendees received CLE (Continuing Legal Education) credit. For information on how you can book It’s Time To Get Organized as a speaker, go to: http://www.itstimetogetorganized.com/services/seminars-workshops/