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Tag >> office organizing
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!
Road Map Your Systems
February...already, really? Getting your act together in 2012 and organizing your office was a promise that you made to yourself. You know that there are so many opportunities that you are missing, clients that you are losing and sleep that you are depriving yourself of just because you are wasting too much time in your office. The reason you haven't started making a change is???
Everything that we do is a process. It is like the old saying: "Putting the cart before the Horse". When you try to do the 3rd step of a process before the first and second, you end up spending (and wasting time). Think about the process that you use when you brush your teeth, and get ready for work in the morning. We do it every morning with our children, right? Why not have specific processes that we follow in the home office.
Road Mapping your systems and processes will help you fine-tune your processes and allow you to get more done - in less time.
Let's look at three parts of your business that can be more productive by having a Road Map.
We are two weeks into the long list of New Year Resolutions that we planned to keep. Truth be told, in my mind, a Resolution is a habit
that we are committing ourselves to change. And change is hard!
There are always things that we can improve on - in our life and business - and a New Year just seems the logical date and time to make a change. But, with everything else that we change - resolutions don't work unless we commit ourselves to changing a habit. The habits of choice are: exercise, organizing and to quit smoking.
As we finish the first 2 weeks of 2012 - Don't Give Up! Let's re-evaluate your New Year Resolutions and Goals.
First - Don't expect that you should have reached your goal 100% already. Developing habits takes time. If habits were quick and easy resolutions not be a concern.
Second - Every goal takes multiple steps to accomplish. No matter how small, there is usually a list of things that have to happen in order to reach your goal. Think about it...everything that we do takes multiple steps. Keep it simple and specific.
Just the simple act of brushing your teeth requires at least 6 steps (pick up the toothbrush, unscrew the cap of the toothpaste, put the toothpaste onto your toothbrush, brush your teeth, rinse the toothbrush, rinse your mouth and then put the cap back onto the toothpaste). It just comes natural to you because you have been doing it the same way...forever. Think about what individual steps you can take to help you achieve your goals and habits for 2012.
Just about everyone "makes" at least one New Year's Resolution. One of the most popular Resolutions is to Get Organized. Every year we have the best of intentions that This Year will be The year that it Really happens! Really...cross your fingers, hope to die! You Will make the necessary changes and do whatever it takes, Right? And you are willing and ready to jump in with both feet! You'll even write it all down, put it on our calendar and make promises to yourself that this IS the year.
The truth is that keeping a New Year Resolution takes more than all of this. You must realize not just what you want to change, but Why you want to change. When you look at your space, office, paperwork or life, does it just drive you nuts? What are you willing to do - besides throwing in the towel and saying, I just can't do it?
You may consciously be self-sabotaging yourself , which is the reason that it hasn't changed....Yet! Ask yourself this question - If my space was organized what would it look like? Close your eyes and visualize your space neat, tidy, organized and filed. Picture yourself sitting at your desk writing contracts, filling orders, talking with clients, paying your bills and smiling at the increase in your bank account.
What I know is that nothing will change until something changes. In other words, until you take specific and methodical action to Keep Your Resolutions, they won't happen and you will stay in the same rut in 2012. And, no matter what plans your plans include and how detailed they are, it takes dedication and a change in your attitude to make it happen.
The words and thoughts that we tell ourselves every day will dictate what we accomplish, how we manage our time and whether or not we reach our goals. So here are some steps to hold yourself accountable to reaching your New Year Resolutions!
If this is you...Stop it Now!
It's almost here - another new year looming just weeks away. Will this be the year that you fulfill your goals? Or will you fall short, yet again? I have found that most businesses have one area within their business that causes more stress and anxiety than any other... paperwork - it causes businesses to fall short in reaching their real goals and dreams.
Business keeps moving forward. Payments come in and bills are getting paid, somehow. Yet all the paperwork seems too overwhelming to be able to keep up with it all. The mail goes unopened (because in the back of your mind, you really know when the payment is due). You are missing out on opportunities to save money because the mail is not being opened. The receipts are piled deep and wide or stacked high on a desk just waiting for something to be done with them But by the time you get around to dealing with the receipts the thought of sorting them all, categorizing them, scanning, documenting them all just seems like it will take forever. So what can you do to keep yourself on track? Here are some tips:
1. Have a system to store all of your receipts right from the beginning. Those tiny lunch receipts from your business meetings get lost in a purse or wallet on a weekly basis. Use a basic coupon holder that you can keep in your purse, car, glove compartment or briefcase. It should be small and compact. Instead of having categories for your coupons, use each slot for a month of the year. File your receipts, deposits and any other paperwork that you need to track into the coupon holder. Once a week, pull the receipts and document or scan them into your system. It's that easy.
2. Develop consistency when it comes to opening your mail and make smart decisions, immediately. All incoming mail goes into one of these categories: file, pay, shred or trash. Don't keep what you "think" you will use. Either you will, or you will not...there are no maybe's! If it is a coupon - you can find it online...keeping it will only allow paperwork to pile up and by the time you find it, the coupon will be expired anyway!
Trying to find the time to de-clutter, organize, down-size, and eliminate can seem impossible. There are only 24 hours in a day so how can we find the time to get organized? And, reality is that you will have to organize again, it won't last forever. Ever feel like this?
Because our time is precious ,it's important to make sure that we keep the following in mind when it comes to getting organized:
1. Take Action - Stop dropping everything that comes into your home or office or wherever it is the most convenient. Hang it up, put it in the trash, take it to the bedroom, put it away, file it. Whatever it is....if you don't have to touch it again, you'll save time.
2. Schedule Breaks - So many times we don't start a project because we have the perception of how much time it will take to complete the task. We play silly mind games with ourselves that because it is going to take 45 minutes, we don't have the time. Split up your time. Work for 20 minutes and then take a 5 minute break! When you get back up you'll be able to see the end in sight and actually finish the job.
3. Throw a Party - You are probably saying...WHAT? Do you realize what you are saying? I can't have a party because I can't have anyone see this unorganized mess! That's exactly right...what better reason to begin the organizing process than to celebrate your time and organized space with your friends and family! The party doesn't have to be tomorrow...I'm not talking about maxing out your stress level in order to have a party but schedule it soon and get busy.
The Missing Piece
I know that you really and truly do want to get organized but it seems that there is a piece of the puzzle that is missing to keeps you from reaching your goal. You haven't been able to really pinpoint what it is but maybe it is that:
1. Something is always coming up that keeps you from getting organized - that demands your attention. This is called Life and it will happen day in and day out, whether we welcome it or not!
2. You really just are wiped out...not feeling like getting it done. And things just keep piling and piling up and causing more and more stress. It is a cycle that you feel will never end.
3. You try and try but it just is taking too long - probably because it is too huge of a project. Getting organized just seems like it will never happen. Your business and home are suffering because of the lack of organization. But, there isn't time to make a change.
How do you handle these road blocks that keep you from getting organized:
To stay organized requires good time management. But sometimes it seems like an impossible task to accomplish.
I had a client project that exploded! In order for us to reach our ultimate goal (to have his merchandise put into three local Wal-Mart stores) included a major, major inspection that was going to cost quite a bit of money - with the hopes that he would pass. The project needed to be totally organized in order to meet some quick deadlines. We had 60 days to pull together what should have taken at least 6 months. But, I accepted the challenge and here are some tips from what I learned in the process.
The guideline that I was given to follow was very vague. (7 pages of vagueness). Nothing was specific...some definite thinking "outside the box" was going to be required. My guidelines were not specific and I was not fully aware of the language that was used. It was generic to me but yet specific to what the inspector would be looking for.
So, how was I going to manage my time to make this happen? I laid out my thought process on a roadmap.
1. Think logically - do research. Make a working log.
Part One of a Three Part Series
Top Ten Excuses and How to Overcome Them
I believe that some people are natural-born organizers. I'm the daughter of an Organized Mom. Everything in our home had a place, everything could be found whenever it was needed and we were all aware of where everything was kept. There was never a reason to ask mom where to find things because they were always put away in the same place, every time.
But this isn't true for everyone and this is why you may find it necessary to ask for help from a Professional Organizer. Asking for help to become organized can be a difficult decision but will be worth it in the end. There is a reason that you would call a plumber, electrician, tutor...why is calling on an Organizer for help any different? If being organized will help you get your life on track and ease the chaos and stress in your home or business it is something worth considering.
Paper+ Procrastination = Chaos
You've heard me say it over and over again that the price of procrastination can (and does) cause Chaos (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome).
Paperwork can easily consume every part of your home. Flat surfaces: tables, counter tops, kitchen and dining room tables, dressers...you name it. I've seen it all! It can even expand into boxes, bins, containers and continue to be spread throughout the house/office. And, it doesn't stay in one room. It can expand from the kitchen and office into the living room, dining room, and even the bedroom!
What is the price of this procrastination? Unpaid bills, missed appointments, stress, anxiety and total overwhelm and lost time spent looking for paperwork that you can't find. The average executive spends a total of 1 hour per day looking for essential paperwork. Why??? There are many reasons...consistent habit, laziness, lack of time (?), accountability, time management issues....etc.
Paperwork is a struggle for most homeowners and businesses too! We receive so much mail and paperwork every day and without a system to file it all away the only thing that happens is that it gets piled up high and deep.
5 Tips to Organize Your Home Business
Home Businesses allow us the opportunity to have the best of everything...stay at home with our children, be our own "Boss", continue to volunteer at the school and contribute to the household. We are organized. Why not bring in some extra income too? We can handle it, right? Being an Entrepreneur is easy!
Every home-based business opportunity will give you the tools needed to get you started and the motivation to inspire you. But what if you are working out of a limited space and really need to maximize your resources and efforts? You really need to have an organized office in order to ensure good time management.
Here are 5 Tips to Organize Your Home Business:
I am so excited about a new productivity tool called the Productive Environment Platform or iPEP. It was created by the Productive Environment Institute and PBWorks (formerly PBWiki). The Productive Environment Institute (formerly Paper Tiger Productivity Institute), founded by the "Paper Tiger Lady" Barbara Hemphill, has developed many systems and strategies for office organizing and personal productivity over the years. This collaboration with PBWorks will revolutionize how we store and share information that relates to our physical filing system and our electronic information.
I foresee people relying on iPEPs just like they do cell phones. Personally, I no longer memorize phone numbers because they are all on my cell phone and are searchable in so many different ways. If I was without my phone for even a day, I would feel completely lost. Now that I am putting more and more data into my iPEP, I am relying on it to hold all of the information that passes through my life every day. Eventually, I will be lost without it as well.
What is an iPEP? An iPEP is a completely customizable, web-based information management system. Using Web 2.0 technologies, it becomes a collaboration tool as you can share your information with other people. Because it is web-based, you have access to your information from any device that has an Internet connection. This includes smart phones such as iPhone and Blackberries.
I am finding that the more information I put into my iPEP, the less dependent I am on my laptop. Because I carry my Blackberry with me all of the time, I can pull up my iPEP anytime, anywhere.
Here is how I am using it for my information management.
An article came out this week in the New York Times detailing the author's experience working with a professional organizer to organize her home office. http://tinyurl.com/cqvykk
Of course I love it when anything is published about the work of organizing consultants because it brings awareness to the type of work that we do.
The important message in the article is that organizing your office, setting up systems, and making it an efficient and appealing space to be in, is a personal experience. What will work for one person, may not work for another.
That is why trying to follow advice from books and television shows may work for some and not for others. Many people feel like they fail when they measure the results and compare themselves to others. (You must know that there are a lot of people behind the scenes making the dramatic room make-overs you see on popular organizing television shows.)