Sadly, summer is almost over and before you know it you’ll need to transition to your fall wardrobe (even here in San Diego). I recommend setting up several ground rules to make the transition easy. First, let’s talk about letting items go. If you didn’t wear it at all this summer and it’s in good condition, put it into the DONATE or CONSIGN bag. RETURN UNWORN ITEMS: If it still has tags on it and you never wore it, return it for store credit. Second, if something is worn out or soiled and beyond repair or laundering, DISCARD it. You deserve better! If you need summer clothing that fits and is still in style but needs to be LAUNDERED or DRY CLEANED, do it now and put it in your summer storage area for next year. Move it out to make room for the coming season.
Reasons why your inbox gets (and stays) cluttered: 1: Procrastination – Apply the 2 Minute Rule: if you can respond to a message in 2 minutes or less, do it immediately. 2: Combined uses – Use separate email addresses for personal and business messages. 3. Disorganized – Create a daily, weekly, and monthly routine for purging, reading, and responding. 4. Ineffective filing system – Email messages are just like paper documents; create an efficient tickler/filing system. 5. Fear – afraid that if you delete or file it you will forget about it? Your 1st decision needs to be, “Is this an action, or reference item?” This will enable you to decide what your next step is. Need more guidance? Sign up for my newsletter and receive your email management checklist!
One of the things I love about my work is that there is always a new “problem” to solve! When you come across a stash of batteries and aren’t sure if they’re good anymore, here is a great way to check: Another tip: Take the dead batteries to a recycling center that accepts them. Locally, I suggest the public library where they have a container.
1. Transition time between activities and meetings. 2. Adequate time to commute to and from meetings. 3. Specific time to review your schedule, upcoming meetings, deadlines, etc. 4. Uninterrupted time to create, write, read, plan. 5. Flexible time for unanticipated situations. 6. Boundaries in your schedule that are obvious to those you live and work with. If you are not comfortable organizing your time, I can help you do this. The consequences of not organizing your time are too great to accept.
Listen carefully, do you find yourself saying, “I never have enough time to (fill in the blank)”. Do you look at your schedule on a daily basis to plan and prioritize, or do you simply hope to get things done when you have time? Are you waking up in the middle of night worrying about things that you need or forgot to do? These are familiar to people who simply need a better system that they can consistently use, maintain, and adapt as needed. Here’s how you can get started: Identify exactly how you are using your time every day, in 30 minute increments for 2 weeks. Sounds tedious but you will establish a realistic baseline that you can use to assess your time management. Someone said that information is power. Try not to judge the information and instead, inform yourself for the next step.
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/
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?
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