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Getting Organized and Staying Organized
By Gregory Paul Dennis

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It has been suggested that some people are born organized, and that others are just naturally disorganized. I believe that anyone can become better organized if doing so is important enough to them. "Cursed" from birth by not being born organized, I use the following tools to help me to be more productive each day:

  • Forget about 'To-Do' lists. Create a 'Must-Do' list every morning and complete it before leaving for the day.

  • Try to handle each document you touch only once.

  • Don't procrastinate when making credit decisions...but don't guess. Gather the facts; consider them; make a decision and act on it. Recognize that credit decisions don't get easier with fact they become more complicated when the credit decision is delayed.

  • Don't over-analyze your decisions. Risk management is an inexact process...and unfortunately some credit decisions will result in bad debt losses. Once you accept this, it becomes easier to live with the decisions you make.

  • Never write to a past due customer when you can call them. This rule applies just as well to routine dunning notices as it does to final demands for payment prior to placing an account for collection.

  • Don't reinvent the wheel every time you must write a letter. Develop, or purchase form letters for all occasions - or at least for as many 'occasions' as possible.

  • When you delegate a task, make sure the person you are asking to complete the task understands specifically what you expect back from them, the deadline or due date, and the importance of the assignment.

  • Write down your long-term goals, and then describe how you plan to achieve them --- and when you plan to achieve them by.

One note of caution: It is easy to backslide. Once you have found ways to overcome the 'handicap' of having poor organizational skills, avoid the tendency to slip back into your old, bad habits. I have found that encouraging my co-workers to adopt these ideas, or to adapt them in some way that makes them more efficient and better organized helps me to stay focused on staying organized.

Gregory Paul Dennis is a full time credit professional, a part-time freelance writer and is currently working toward his Master's Degree.

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