As a Professional Organizer and Time Management Specialist I want to share tips that will help you: Meet your goals and be productive personally, professionally Recognize how to use a system to make choices, balance your time Downsize your stuff, upsize your life I love the comparison that expert, Julie Morgenstern makes between the cluttered closet and the cluttered schedule. Is this something that you can relate to? The bottom line is that you can only fit so much into either one! At Outside In Organizer and Makeovers I use the “One-At-A-Time Rule”; one area, project, or task at a time. You will achieve better results in less time when you apply the Rule. Today’s 3 TIPS – Identify the clutter and time-wasters: Take photos of the areas of your home or office that are cluttered. Do these areas create stress and overwhelm? List how the clutter in each area impacts your time. Are you always looking for things? Are you late for appointments? Do you forget items and need to drive back to retrieve them? Estimate how much time is wasted. Are you usually 15 minutes late for appointments? Do you miss the beginning of the movie?
Not all emergencies fall into the category of natural disasters. What about man made events, contagious illnesses, and the spread of infection? As someone who coaches people about time management and productivity I thought that it was important to remind you that taking a few minutes to focus on prevention, will likely save you from losing more valuable time in the near future. Here is information about “hand washing” from the Center on Disease Control: http://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/
Are you as confused as some of us about whether to store important information, documents, or passwords in the cloud? If this is new or scary for you it begins with doing the research. Here’s an article to start with: http://computer.howstuffworks.com/cloud-computing/files-safe-in-the-cloud.htm
This month I’m sharing tips and resources to help you organize your family, home, and business in order to be safe and prepared for possible emergencies. Take a tour of your home and identify areas that: are overcrowded – prevent objects falling & people tripping are too dark – replace light bulbs, apply stick-on lights at entryways and in closets, keep a flashlight handy are potentially hazardous for children, seniors, pets – check the electrical outlets and cords, lock up medications & toxic substances, keep perishables in weather and rodent-proof containers, remove area rugs or furniture with sharp edges Here is an article that highlights additional safety organizing tips: http://www.pbs.org/hometime/house/safety/safediy.htm What is the 1 change that you will make today?
Natural disasters may occur anywhere in the world. Have you organized your important documents, health/medication records, and passwords? Do you have a safe deposit box? What about keeping duplicate items with family or friends who live in a different area? #1: Start with a specific plan of action. #2: Use a checklist to make preparation less overwhelming. #3: Schedule dedicated time (a specific day/time) to complete one action at a time from your checklist.
Summer is a great time to catch up with all of those tasks you said you would get to, right? Emergency and disaster preparedness obviously has to be organized before an actual event. Being prepared means protecting yourself from theft, including your identity. Here is an article with tips from the IRS that you will find helpful: http://www.irs.gov/uac/Identity-Protection-Tips
Whether you are traveling, or preparing your household or business for an emergency, knowing what to keep and for how long is critical. Once you have this information you can decide whether it can be kept in hard copy and/or scanned. Talk with your accountant and attorney about specific financial and legal requirements. Here is a resource that you will find useful as well: http://www.usa.gov/Topics/Money/Personal-Finance/Managing-Household-Records.shtml
It’s not about living in fear, it’s about thinking ahead and using that opportunity. Here’s a great article for family organizing: http://www.webmd.com/parenting/features/what-emergency-supplies-keep-in-car
What types of natural disasters might you encounter in the area that you are living? Do you have a plan of action in the event that one occurs? Do you have the supplies that you might need at home and in your vehicle? There a number of online resources that can provide you with helpful checklists such as this one: http://www.ready.gov/sites/default/files/documents/files/checklist_1.pdf Additional tips: Make multiple copies of the checklist(s) that you use. Distribute them to family members, roommates, coworkers, etc. Keep a laminated copy of the checklist in the container, backpack, and bags that hold these items. This will remind you of the contents during a stressful situation and save you precious time looking for what you need. Refer to the checklist at regular intervals to be sure that adequate supplies are on hand and that items are in good condition and have not expired.
Do you think that summer organizing is limited to cleaning out the garage? Well it’s also the best time to focus on disaster preparedness. No matter where you live you are going to want to use a checklist to ensure that you’ve addressed a variety of: types of disasters important documents and records valuables, including sentimental possessions. Here are some resources that you can refer to: FEMA: http://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan CDC: http://emergency.cdc.gov/preparedness/ Red Cross: http://www.redcross.org/prepare/location/home-family/plan You may also contact your local chapter of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) to find an Organizer who can get you started!