Posted by: Linda Clevenger in Untagged on
May 20, 2013
Do you find that you struggle with paper clutter? This seems to be the area that both businesses and homeowners struggle with the most. It doesn't matter if you are a small home-based business or a Corporate CEO...too much paperwork can be stressful.
Paper Clutter affects everyone! Paper Cluttered Desk
This week I helped a Direct Sales Consultant work through her piles of paperwork. Her personal experience and the reason for her paper clutter was typical. There was a time that everything used to be organized. All of her paperwork used to be filed and was always kept neat and orderly and she never looked for anything. Then, unexpectedly, life happened and handling the paperwork became too stressful for her to deal with on a daily basis.
Let the Pile Management Begin
When life happened, paperwork went into piles, stacks, bins and got tucked into boxes to deal with at a later point. The only problem is that it did not take too long before the paperwork was too overwhelming to deal with and the project of sorting through it all seemed too daunting and impossible to achieve without help. And, the stress of looking for one piece of paper was costing time and money. Something had to be done. It was easier to simply put it into one of the many boxes that were already piled high and hope that it would not be needed at a later point.
Do you find yourself wasting time on paperwork and wondering how to get out from under the piles? We are inundated on daily basis with so much to do, in so little time. And paperwork can cause an enormous amount of stress.
Practicing "pile management" is the most popular answer that I hear when I speak to groups of both business owners and homeowners. Quickly, those piles can become unmanageable and multiply. The result:
Stress and anxiety
Is there a way to avoid all of this?
Wouldn’t it be great if we could really find more time every day? More time to relax and enjoy life instead of thinking of what is still on our To Do List?
BE AN ACTION TAKER
You may think that I have totally lost it, however, when make the decision to be an Action Taker you will find more time every day. Sitting back and waiting (and hoping) for things to change is senseless. Every part of our life, business and relationship is based on us taking action to make “it” happen. Doing nothing results in nothing, zip, zilch, nada…no results.
DO NOT MULTI-TASK
Women (more than men) believe that having the ability to multi-task makes them more productive and could help them find more time every day. I don’t believe this to be true. Our time is so limited. Multi-tasking can make us “feel” as if we are being productive. I don’t believe that this is the case, and part of the reason why we struggle with Time Management
What do you do to stop feeling overwhelmed? It is Spring...my second favorite season in the year. I always say that I am going to spend more time in the yard and plant some flowers, clean up the yard debris (we live in the woods). I have a vision of what the yard will look like by the middle of May...blooming with flowers, a nice green lawn, our little girl on her swing set playing. Oops....back to reality folks!
YES, I GET OVERWHELMED
I would be lying to you if I said that I don't periodically experience the feeling overwhelmed anxiety. If you read last week's blog, you know that I'm now taking a more active role in my parent's life...even if it is just to check in with them more than in the past. Is it a big deal? Absolutely not! Unless I let it become a big deal. It just seems to be one more thing that I "have" to do.
GET ORGANIZED AND STOP FEELING OVERWHELMED
One way to stop feeling overwhelmed is to be organized. This has been an amazing week, full of phone calls of parents wanting to help their children and business owners wanting to get their business paperwork organized. Spring is definitely in the air! Or, maybe It is because we are at the end of tax season...I'm not sure.
I'm part of the Sandwich Generation. I now have parents who need me to regularly check up on them, adult children who count on me to help out occasionally and a grandchild that I (my husband and I) are raising. I just registered her for Kindergarten last week...Yikes! I spent 1 week in rehab in a nursing home with my father and came back to handle Kindergarten registration. This blows me away!
Posted by: Linda Clevenger in Untagged on
Apr 1, 2013
I have always thought that my parents were organized. Actually, as an Organizing Consultant, I know, first-hand, they are very organized. And, I’m very thankful! However, just last week, I discovered some areas of their lives that were not as organized as they had thought…and as I had thought.
DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE WHAT-IF’S?
Thinking about all of the possibilities, the “what-if’s” that can happen in our lives is just about impossible. I never would never have guessed that my husband would fall off of our roof in 2007. I definitely learned a ton of valuable information during those two long years of healing and know that everything that happened was directed by the Universe. I never would have imagined raising another child at this point in my life either. And, I definitely would not have thought that I would take a leap of faith and become an Entrepreneur in my mid-40’s. I was perfectly happy with Corporate America…or so I thought.
Our lives are full of “what-if’s” and being as prepared as possible is important. Of course, this definitely means stepping outside of our comfort zone in the realm of the unknown and is extremely scary.
Do you have trouble making a decision to get started on a project? If so, you are not alone. I spoke to a group of women last weekend and this was one of the big topics of discussion.
There is so much that we have to do every day. The “long list” includes everything including our
- Quote from Brian Tracy
daily household responsibilities, children’s activities, our volunteer programs, caring for the children and don’t forget that 4 letter word…work!
Finding focus is a big part of making a decision to get started on a project. Being able to ignore everything else that is on our To Do List (or Intention List) is difficult, but necessary. Finding focus on what really needs to be done will allow us to do more in the day. I love Brian Tracy’s philosophy of Eating the Frog.
What does your home office say about you as a: business owner, individual and professional? Do you really “work” in your home office or is it the best dumping ground ever because you can close the door and walk away?
Whether you are a business owner with a home office or a homemaker with a space designated as your home office…
Your home office should be a place that you do the following:
- prepare for appointments
- Home Office Organization
- schedule appointments
- balance your books
- call your clients
- pay your bills
- keep your paperwork filed away
Your home office should be the:
- place to keep your calendar (one calendar with every appointment on it)
- handle your mail
- keep important papers that you refer to infrequently
So many times a home office can “live” in different parts of your home, i.e. the:
Have you ever had your plans all laid out and ready to be massively productive and then….BAMM your Time Management and Productivity goes right out the window? Somebody, some thing or some event comes and destroys everything. Of course, we all have. And, let me tell you, I used to freak out. That is not the case now.
YOUR LONG LIST
No matter what our daily role, there is typically a list that is way too long for us to “think” that we can accomplish on a daily basis. After all, there are only 24 hours in a day. We all know that and have heard it and read it over and over again.
It is called…Life! Things get in our way and interfere with our strategically placed time management skills. Our productivity will typically decrease…why, because our mind is still thinking about the last crappy thing that got us distracted in the first place!
FOCUSING ON TIME MANAGEMENT AND PRODUCTIVITY
When (you know what) happens, our thought continue to shift back to “that” event that has us distracted. Being able to “deal” with an issue is one thing. Most of the time, however, the situation isn’t resolved immediately. This leaves us with lots of thoughts, in the back of our mind, about:
Do you think that you are Organized? I would say that most of us can rate ourselves with a percentage such as...I'm 80% organized or would say, "I'm organized at work but not at home". We all think of ourselves as being organized to a certain degree.
How Organized Are You?
Being organized isn't rocket science. It comes naturally to so many and for others...it is a struggle. The one thing that I think is important to remember is that there is no real right or wrong way to "be organized". Your style of organizing should resonate with your personality. A system that is too complicated is a system that won't work.
This is where, I believe, people can get stuck and develop the impression that being organized is overwhelming. Maybe it is that your system to organize is overly complicated for you to be able to keep it organized. Keep systems simple and easy to use.
How Organized is a 4 Year old?
I know that I have said it before...the term time management is an oxymoron.
You can't make more time magically appear in your day. There are still only 24 hours to get everything done. Which is why it is exactly why your time management skills directly reflect your stress management level.
Life definitely isn't boring. Thank goodness! People, activities, challenges and responsibilities come and go in and out of our lives and business. Sometimes it seems as if just as we figure it all out, our time management talents just disappear right out the window. Stress takes over and we can easily get overwhelmed and lose momentum and focus.
Changing Up Your Time Management
Seasons come and go and with those seasons our activity levels change. More may be required of our time on the weekends as we approach Spring time...or a project may require us to work a little harder and longer than we normally already work each week. We may also take on more than we can actually handle and then find ourselves trying to figure out how to manage it all.
The stories that we tell ourselves about why we don't "get organized" are pretty amazing. Excuses can be a dime a dozen. And, they are pretty easy to make up, if you think about it! So let's get motivat
GET MOTIVATED and ORGANIZED
I think that this is the biggest challenge for most people. They just don't see the real "reason" or benefit to get organized. After all, if
they look long enough and hard enough, they will be able to find what they need...eventually! And, you are dealing with it, working in it and living in it just fine...right?
But how much time did you just waste? Wouldn't it be easier if you had a system in place and knew exactly where an item belongs so that you didn't have to look for it? Or, wouldn't it be great if your paperwork was easy to file and you didn't miss deadlines?
Nothing happens unless you are willing to do the work. Consistency is required to get more done. We talk all the time about Time Management and Getting More Done. David Allen has it So right! I love his philosophy.
Stop being wishy-washy about whether you really want to reach your goal! Whether your goal is
- Be Consistent
personal or business related, it doesn't matter. Nothing happens until something happens. And this means you doing productive activities on a consistent basis to reach your goal.
So many times, I hear people say, "it didn't work for me" or "that doesn't work for me". "I've tried everything". But, did you try it for a period of time that you can measure your results? How long did you do the same thing...consistently? Did you just do it for several weeks or even several months and then give up? Here is my philosophy. Anything worth doing is worth doing right....over and over again. And, this is called consistency.
Employees, business owners, homeowners...we can all throw all of our Time Management skills out the window when it comes to social media. According to the Nielson Report, 121 billion minutes was spent on social media in July 2012. This is compared to 88 billion minutes in July 2011. Does Social Media suck out time...absolutely!
- Medial Stats 2012
GETTING SUCKED IN TO SOCIAL MEDIA
It is, simply put, just too easy to keep scrolling and scrolling down to view what every one of your friends has posted on Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, and the other over 100 or so web sites that want you to have a presence on their site.
After all, you know the importance of Social Media to your search engines and Google search. It is part of being in business. But how do you avoid getting sucked into it all and throwing a monkey wrench into your time management schedule?
Time Management can be an oxymoron! There seems to be more and more to do every day and less time to get it all accomplished. And, whether you are trying to grow a business, manage a household or just get through life, it can just become too overwhelming. I want to share with you some time-saving techniques that I use every day! I hope that they will work for you...
USE A CALENDAR
· It doesn't matter if it is a paper calendar or a digital calendar. Manage your day, appointments and schedule with a calendar. And, the key is to keep only 1 calendar for everything. This means that it is important to determine what type of calendar is right for your personality.
· I also recommend that you use your calendar to manage your To Do Lists. Make life as simple as humanly possible!
I LOVE the Cozi calendar application which can be used for Ipad, Iphones, Androids tablets, PCs...just about every type of device that is available. And, it is Free! It allows me to manage my To Do Lists and Grocery Lists too! Having everything available in one place makes this a great tool. And, it also syncs with Outlook and Google calendars!
Have you ever used the excuse, "There is not enough time" to get everything done. Is this because you are confusing busy vs. productive? Is it that you simply procrastinate? Try these tips for better time management.
Dealing with your Procrastination
- Realize what emotion or block keeps you from completing what you really need to do will increase your time management
- Identifying your procrastinating techniques
- Ignore distractions that keep you from reaching even the smallest goal
Your day may be busy. Packed with appointments, obligations and deadlines. This can give you the excuse to procrastinate. Just the idea of everything written on paper or seeing it on your calendar can be overwhelming. When this happens,time management suffers so it is important to prioritize your day to ensure that you meet deadlines.
There may be 20 tasks on your To Do List, which all have value and importance. But, which task is the #1 priority? Which deadline is (are) due immediately?
Prioritizing your Day Increases Time Management
Posted by: Linda Clevenger in time management training, time management, self-improvement, Procrastination, paper clutter, office organizing, office organization, home organizing, entrepreneur, Enrepreneurship on
Dec 31, 2012
Yup...you've got it right, I said it! What New Year Resolutions will you break in 2013? When you think about what you would like to change in 2013 what comes to mind? The all infamous losing weight, getting organized, spending more time with family and stop smoking are just a few of the top New Year Resolutions. Which is exactly why, if you watch television at all, you will see more and more advertisements for "ways to lose weight" and "products to get you organized". Did you make one of the above New Year Resolutions for 2013?
BREAK THE TREND - DEVELOP NEW HABITS
Even though it is just the beginning of the year, if you are like a majority of people, they have already broken their New Year Resolution.
Why does this happen? Because making a New Year Resolution requires for you to either make a habit - or change a habit.
Reality is that sometimes we ask too much of ourselves. Being realistic about what we can handle and how much we can do can be difficult. So start with small changes that will result in big changes. Take baby steps toward your goals. Every goal is just like starting a diet....begin small by going to the gym two days a week. Then try cutting out sweets. Next, eliminate sodas and other sweets. Cutting out one bad habit at a time is much easier than trying the "cold turkey" method. So, how does this relate to organizing?
IT DIDN'T HAPPEN OVERNIGHT!
Step out of your comfort zone in 2013 and reach your goals. As I reflect back on this year, I am very excited. 2012 has been an awesome year of personal and professional growth. New programs have been developed beyond hands-on organization and I have been able to fine-tune and develop systems and processes to help businesses and homeowners become organized.
PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT and TIME MANAGEMENT
Developing who you are as a person can be difficult. It requires self-esteem, control and the ability to recognize who you really are as a person. When I think back to who I was 7 years ago...I was a totally different person. I was easily intimidated, I did not speak my mind and I was not a genuinely happy person. I did what was expected of me, without question. Somehow I had managed to get through 45 years of my life, raise 3 children and be happily married - or so I thought.
My friend, Melanie Yost, once told me that being an Entrepreneur takes hudspa, guts and is the best self-development course that you can take. Starting Organization Direct, 7 years ago, was a huge step outside of my comfort zone. I have been able to find the real me. Being the daughter of a dairy farmer, I was raised to believe that I do my best, work hard and the rewards will come. But it always involved working for someone else. That was how it was supposed to be! This meant that I was limiting my ability to truly help others because I was working with others values, ethics and budgets.
My personal development has enabled me to develop the true meaning of Organization Direct - to change lives. To help Entrepreneurs and homeowners through the rough spots of becoming organized, recognize that they can be organized and successful through simple, easy steps and daily habits.
Organization is a widely varied topic and has multiple meanings. Sometimes, the very first step is simply to develop time-lines and schedules. Some just need to be reassured that they are doing things the "right way". The thing about being organized is that there is no real right or wrong way to become organized. Whatever the area: paperwork, scheduling, time management, clutter or purging, getting it done is what matters. This involves developing habits to keep organized.
Have you ever wondered if Time Management is a hoax, if only you could manage your time better you would:
- Get more done
- Reach your goals
- Really Have a life?
Well, it may not be "perfect" but here is my two cents about Time Management.
Shortcuts Secrets for a To Do List for Time Management
Finding shortcuts will improve your Time Management. One of the best tools that I found for myself is the
Getting Things Done App for my cell phone. It is SO quick and easy for me to keep track of what I need, want and have To Do and to prioritize everything. As an Entrepreneur, balancing your time management can be difficult...the Getting Things Done app keeps me on track.
Stop feeling like a failure because you aren't able to do everything that you "think" is your responsibility? I can relate. For a very long time, I thought that I was the only person who could do...._________________ "fill in the blank". For me, it was everything! No one could do it as good as me. I had to be in charge because that was the story that I told myself - and the story that my ego told myself!
What this did is added unneeded and unwanted stress to my work schedule, my family and my life. It was unhealthy and unproductive...and the worst part is that I didn't give my co-workers or family members the opportunity to develop their talent and expertise! That was just wrong of me and I apologize!
Especially in December, we can feel the stress of reaching expectations. We have probably added in at least several holiday parties into our schedule, the time it takes to decorate your office and/or home, all of the extra activities, visits and obligations that are only required during the holiday season. It can be easy to feel as if we are a failure if we don't get it all done - by ourselves.
So...how do you stop feeling like a failure? Here are some steps that will help you organize an especially busy calendar this month:
1. Gather everyone together for a team meeting. (This is not to sing a Christmas carols though!) Gather together your family and employees and hold a Calendar meeting.
Posted by: Linda Clevenger in Untagged on
Nov 26, 2012
Being organized involves developing a habit for everything that we do. With so many new applications for our phones,computers and tablets, we can easily get side-tracked from what we Have To Do and concentrate more on what we "Think" we Need To Do.
Think of the benefits of having healthy habits. Simply by choosing the habit of eating healthy foods you can improve your health and lose weight! What about the habit of organizing your day and business? Some habits that can help you stay on track are to:
1. Treat every client the same - have a system that you use from initial contact through to the end of your Contract together.
2. Develop the habit of follow-up systems to keep in touch with potential clients. What CRM system do you use? Are you using it consistently?
3. Consistently handle, file and scan paperwork on a regular basis.