Long ago, when my husband and I were having trouble coping with the piles of paperwork associated with our small business, my father-in-law gave me great advice. He called it the “Touch It Once” principle. Don’t pick up things, look at them, tell yourself you’ll deal with them later and then put them back down. The piles of junk will just grow.
Instead, hold each item in your hands once. Decide immediately if it’s critical or not and do whatever it takes to make it go away or be completed. Then do that immediately if possible. I found that most everything can be dealt with that easily. I started doing it with bills, then orders, then journals. Pretty soon, not only was my desk cleared and organized, but so was our home. It was a life changer for me. I taught it to our children, and to all our employees. Invariably, the employees all mentioned that that little bit of advice helped them in their own lives.
This might not be the typical story your listeners look for. But maybe someone else is struggling with anxiety over the mounds of paper or responsibilities piling up like I was, and I hope this bit of advice can help them too.
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