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1. Set up a system at the beginning of each year for collecting the paperwork that will be needed for filing that year’s taxes. Collect receipts in plastic envelopes instead of boxes and sort/file them at the end of each month. Set up new file folders/hanging folders as needed. Review retention guidelines with your tax preparer so that you’ll only keep essential information.
2. Clear your desk at the end of each day. Put away files, collect current project related materials in one place and discard papers that are no longer needed. This way you will always be able to easily retrieve documents.
3. When you set aside time to organize an area of your workspace, be sure to leave 10 minutes to remove the piles that need to be discarded, shredded or returned to colleagues.
4. In order to keep the number of e-mails in your inbox at a very manageable level, determine the maximum number of e-mails that you will allow to collect in the inbox. Once this quantity has collected, your priority task for the day will be processing your e-mails so that you are back in control.
5. Carefully review your to-do list and identify those tasks that could be done by a colleague, your staff or a family member. By delegating, not only will the tasks be completed by the desired deadline, you are also providing an opportunity for colleagues or family members to learn and participate.