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Paper mountain

Paperwork piles up, and when there is little time available it can seem futile even to start on it, but here's how to use even 10 minutes to advantage:

* Take each piece of paper away from the pile to deal with it. Otherwise the size of the pile may discourage you from doing anything.

* If you don't have time to handle the task completely, write the steps required on a sticky note and do as many as you can. Mapping the path to completion makes it much easier.

* Select papers that just need to be reviewed and take them with you when travelling on public transport, or where you have to queue.

* Combine the paperwork with something you enjoy, such as listening to a CD.

In paperwork, as in everything else, the old Chinese adage applies: "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." When you use the odd period of time available, you make the journey more quickly.

Jurgen Wolff is a hypnotherapist, teacher and writer. His free monthly creativity email bulletin is available from

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