Paper mountain

9th May 2003 at 01:00
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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