Are your employees frustrated because they think that you are a disorganized boss? As your San Diego Organizer and Time Management Coach I’ve been reading a lot about tips to help employees work with their disorganized bosses. It is ultimately the responsibility of the boss, or person in the leadership role, to ensure productivity, adequate workflow, and communication with employees. How would you know if you were a disorganized boss? Do you observe any of the following signs: Difficulty meeting deadlines Unable to find important items when they are needed Need to re-explain directions to others repeatedly It’s not always easy to be an objective observer and it’s even more difficult for an employee to broach this topic with their boss. So I would offer TIP #1 for the boss: Identify and be able to articulate your strengths to your employees. Use that information to begin the conversation about which strengths you need from them. Collaborate and build those processes into your systems and procedures. I promise great results!
Disorganization can cost you money, time, health, productivity, and career satisfaction. As a San Diego Professional Organizer I ask a lot of questions to help clients in San Diego and all over recognize the value of organizing their lives and their space. Ask yourself some of these questions: What is my time worth? How much time do I spend looking for important things? What would I rather be doing with my time? How does this space make me feel? What does this space say about me? My capabilities? Why does the clutter always return? How would having a system help me maintain an organized space or schedule? Now ask yourself, “What am I waiting for?” Wouldn’t the investment in organizing benefit you, your family, your friends and your coworkers? For more tips, sign up to receive my newsletter (and forward it to a friend)! www.outsideinorganizer.com
Why is it important to identify and help disorganized students? Who are disorganized students and what do they do differently than organized students? We all know adults who function adequately despite their disorganized homes or chaos at work (although many do not). If you asked them, they would probably tell you that they’ve always been that way, even as children. What they might be hesitant to share is that struggling with organization affected them mentally, emotionally, socially, and maybe even physically even when they were students. It is important to understand that disorganized students are no different than any other students in the sense that they need love, understanding, support, encouragement, and confidence. As a parent, your goal is to help set your student up for success. That means understanding the specific strategies that will help the disorganized student to function in a more organized and less stressful way in all environments. It may also mean that he or she will need to develop coping strategies for the areas that present greater difficulty. Previously I recommended that you begin to keep a notebook describing the behaviors that you observed in your student that demonstrate his or her difficulty with getting or staying organized. Now add information to this notebook (remember it is for the parents’ eyes, only) about the student’s predominant learning style. Notice if he or she tend to learn and remember information that is presented visually more so than auditorally. Or is the student what we call a kinesthetic learner? Some students learn and remember things better when they are hands-on and can do something with things. Image courtesy of: hyenareality/freedigitalphotos.net
Do you know a student who is disorganized? If so, you probably recognize that he or she is likely to be disorganized at home and at school. What is it that he or she does, or doesn’t do, that demonstrates difficulty with being or staying organized? Disorganized students may exhibit behaviors such as: Frequently loses or has trouble finding things that he or she needs. Has difficulty being on time for activities or transitioning from one to another. Often forgets to do what he or she was asked to do. It’s summer vacation for most students and as a former educator I’d like to encourage you to help your student now. Begin by writing your observations in a notebook (your eyes, only). The key is to be observant without being judgmental. After awhile you will begin to identify patterns in the student’s behaviors. What are his reactions to the situation? Begin to think about what your goals for your student are as we develop a plan of action.
Do you ever wish that you could feel organized? Maybe you were more organized at one time in your life but it’s been so long that you’ve abandoned that image of yourself. You don’t have give up! Today I want to talk with you about what feeling organized means and how taking a break can make that feeling possible.Feeling organized shows up in different ways and at various times, sometimes only for a few moments. Think about what it actually feels like, mentally and physically, to be organized. Do any of these descriptions sound like what it would feel to you: • Calm • Focused • Relaxed • Observant • Confident • In control • Goal-directed • Competent • Prepared • Energized • Proactive • Satisfied Did you notice that I didn’t use descriptions of space or stuff? I didn’t list things like clutter-free, clear counter tops, or labeled containers. That is because feeling organized has more to do with the inside that the outside. I know that’s contrary to the name of my business, Outside In Organizer and Makeovers, but the name is actually more about how we can use external strategies to foster those feelings while we are doing the long-term inner work. Next time you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed I want you to try something. Stop for a moment and just notice how you feel in your head (your thoughts) and in your body (muscle tension). Try taking a deep breath, even if you are driving; exhale fully first, because this will create space for the incoming breath. Just try to notice during that moment that you can choose to relax and refocus. You can practice doing this at anytime and anywhere, it is like pressing the reset button! Why am I asking you to do… read more →
Now that you’ve sorted and organized everything on the surfaces of your office you are ready to go deeper! Wondering how to do this? During this step in the organizing process you are going to work in the individual drawers and files one at a time. This is generally a longer process so I recommend that you schedule a specific day and block of uninterrupted time to do this work. Establish your goals before you begin so that you will be able to plan ahead. Overall, the goal of this process is to thin out the amount of inventory in your office drawers and files so that you are organizing only what you need and use. However, you may want to focus on some or all of the following office organizing goals: 1. Create more digital and scanned records to reduce the amount of paper documentation. 2. Change the location of items and files in order to maximize easy retrieval and access. 3. Utilize systems and strategies that are aligned with your work and learning style. Are you more visual, auditory, tactile, or kinesthetic? Work from your strengths. 4. Maximize storage space including vertical and wall spaces. OIOM TIP: Save horizontal space for the work and when you are done have storage elsewhere. 5. Decrease clutter with more efficient containers, a tickler file system, or remote storage. Supplies to have before you start organizing: • Single tab file folders • Hanging files • Empty file box(-es) to hold hanging files • Pencils, eraser • A clear horizontal space to work on How to Organize: Identify the drawer that you want to begin with and work only in that drawer. • Office supplies: Take everything out of the drawer and place all of the items on to your clear work surface.… read more →
It is important to remember that how you organize your office will determine the ease of work flow as well as retrieval of important items when you need them. Remember that organizing your office or any space is a process. That means that it takes dedicated time and a clear vision of how you want it to look and function. It also means that you will need to maintain and use that system regularly. Let’s fast forward to the part where you’ve already purged everything that you think you don’t need to keep. Now it’s time to sort all of the contents in the office. Sorting is the first step to getting an organizing system in place. Step 1 – Supplies you will need before you begin sorting items: • Sticky note pads – these can be used to label piles • Markers • Writing pad – create a list of categories as you go along; revise as needed; refer to this if you want to print labels later on • Pencil and eraser • A clear surface to work on, preferably a table or counter top (Note: the floor is okay if you have a healthy knees and back) • Bags or containers for trash, recycling and shredding. OIOM TIP: shred later, not during the process; your goal is to get organized not shred! Step 2 – Decide on your categories for sorting; Make quick decisions. • Organize each items according to general or broad categories such as: Supplies, Financial, Education, Personal, Clients, and References. • You can identify sub-categories later on. • Decide where to start and stick to that area before you move on. OIOM TIP: If you find things that belong in another room, create a pile, label it, and bring it to that room when… read more →
Several years ago a woman called me because her friend threatened her! The friend was concerned and frustrated because she tried to help the woman get rid of the excessive amount of stuff in her home without any success. She reached the last straw when the woman tripped over a pile of newspapers and as a result of the fall, broke her foot. Now in a cast and forced to go up and down the stairs on her bottom, the friend threatened to call protective services if a professional organizer was not hired. This was an extreme situation, of course, and yet it raised numerous issues related to organizing and how it can improve both personal safety and health. In less extreme situations clutter, or excessive quantities of items, objects, and paperwork, can cause a variety of other concerns in addition to obstacles that cause falls: Fire hazard Compromised emergency preparedness, inability to access important items in an emergency or exit a building safely Injuries from stacked items falling Dust and mold that may cause or aggravate allergies, asthma Social isolation that may be caused by shame surrounding a cluttered environment, including estrangement from family members, and a negative impact on interpersonal relationships. If this sounds like someone you know or a situation that troubles you, it’s time to talk with a Professional Organizer. As a Professional Organizer I am part of an industry that trains us to work with these situations in a systematic, confidential and non-judgmental manner. It is stressful for a family member or friend to help no matter how much they care and mean well. They can support the work that the individual does with the professional. Write down your questions, concerns, and most importantly, your goals. All it takes is a phone call to start your forward movement.
You’ve likely heard the saying, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Do you believe that every item you possess is a treasure? Perhaps that is the reason why you continue to hold on to it. The idea that it is a treasure for you may be true in one or more ways. For instance, something may have financial value and be worth a lot of money if sold. It may have value to you because you paid a significant amount of money to purchase it. An item may have sentimental or emotional value regardless of its perceived or real financial worth. Another type of value is related to an items function. You may hold on to the item because it is helpful to you now or was in the past because of its usefulness. If you find that clutter is of concern to you or others who share your space and have difficulty deciding what to keep and what not to keep, you are in the right place! Rather than worry about whether your reasoning for holding onto things (this includes papers) is right or wrong, I recommend that you ask yourself these questions: Do I love it? Does it make me feel happy when I use it or look at it? Do I need it? Could I replace it if I let go of it and needed it or something like it? Do I use it? Do I display it? Does it work (operate, in good repair)? How many of these do I currently own? How many of these do I need? How long has it been stored or contained? What would happen if I donated, gifted, or sold it? How is it serving me? Others? Is it representative of what I want and need? Is it moving me towards my goals?… read more →
You may think that a nice big container will help you organize all of those papers, take out menus, receipts and so on but wait! Deep containers and bins for a variety of items end up attracting large, unsorted piles of paper. Notice the green container holding that pile and taking up what we Professional Organizers refer to as valuable real estate? Eventually, you’re going to have to take action and the question is, will it be the best use of your time? Some potential hazards include: Losing something important. Forgetting to pay a fee. Missing a deadline. Being closed out of an event. Forgetting an appointment. Expired coupons and gift cards. The result? Wasted time, energy, stress, self criticism or loss of credibility. Organize first by doing a quick sort in order to avoid the piles and desire for something to contain them in. Take action the same day…keep it? If it is something that you need to act on, do it right away or schedule it. If it is for reference later, put it in your tickler file. If you can find it elsewhere (Internet), then recycle it. Confidential? Then shred it. Deep containers and bins are good for larger items such as large toys, blankets, and off season clothing and gear.