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!
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
Do you get those inserts with your statements encouraging you to go paperless? Outside In Approach TIP #1 – Implement the “1-at-a-Time Rule”. Get into the habit of going paperless, 1 account at a time. It only takes a couple of minutes. Outside In Approach TIP #2 – Create & practice your “Optimal Habits”. Every 6 mos. to a year, change your password. Outside In Approach TIP #3 – Here’s another “Optimal Habit” to practice…Every 6 months, purge the unnecessary inserts in your account files and shred them.
This article captures each of the basics in organizing and running a professional home office. It’s worth the read! http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/16/jobs/home-office-requires-a-businesslike-attitude.html?_r=0
Your desktop is a surface that is primarily a space to work on rather than a storage space. Are you afraid that if you don’t leave papers out that you will forget to do something? As an organizing and productivity expert I can assure you that that strategy doesn’t work. In fact, it creates mental confusion and stress. Consider these factors: 1. How your desk top makes you feel? 2. What type of impression does it have on your prospective and current clients? 3. What message does your desk top give to your supervisor, colleagues, or employees? To solve the problem of desk top clutter and disorganization, have an effective filing and tickler system. Everything needs to have a designated place. Tasks and project due dates need to be aligned with your calendar.
Do you want your life to be less hectic? Your home less cluttered? Family healthier? If you answered “yes” to any of these 3 questions it’s time to get organized! Getting organized happens when you commit to creating and maintaining optimal habits. That means being aware of what is working and what is not. Changing behaviors is not easy but it can be done if you commit to: AWARENESS, CONSISTENCY, ACCOUNTABILITY. Awareness means making those around you aware (and therefore supportive) of your goals. Consistency means committing to the new behaviors or habits for no less than 3-6 weeks. It also means if something interferes with your practice of these new habits you restart immediately rather than give up! Accountability means several things. First, don’t try to do it alone. If you could your would’ve done it already. Hire a Professional Organizer, work with a therapist, ask a nonjudgmental friend to help you succeed. Here is an important TIP: reward yourself immediately for your successes. Now, let’s get organized! Helpful strategies for a less hectic life: use your schedule like your to do list. assess how much time it actually takes to do things; did you over or underestimate? remember to allow time for commutes. If you get there early, bring something to read. take breaks, you will actually be more productive. Ways to have a less cluttered home or office: establish a place for everything. put everything back in it’s place when you’re done with it. keep things close to where they are used. contain smaller items. donate or discard items you no longer use. Tips for a healthier family and self: plan nutritious, tasty meals that make great leftovers for lunches. organize your refrigerator; make sure there are fruits and vegetables that are fresh and handy for snacks.… read more →
It’s so exciting to visit a former client’s office and see that he maintained the results we achieved. It’s been about a month since we worked together and when I walked into the reception area the other afternoon I was immediately struck by the orderly and more simplified appearance. As a I passed the work area on my way to his private office the desk tops were no longer full of personal and food items. The staff was making great use of the containers we purchased and everything was in its place. All of the waste and recycling baskets were out of sight, as suggested. The best part was seeing the boss’s office. He maintained not only the aesthetic changes but also the clutter-free horizontal surfaces (desk and file cabinet tops). With the help of a Professional Organizer, such as Outside In Organizer and Makeovers in San Diego, a motivated client can make and maintain results. Systems are being used for productivity and clients walk into a space that simply states, “We are the professionals you can trust.”
Take advantage of those rainy days and pick one project you would like to start and finish. It’s important that when you finish, you reward yourself for getting it done.* Remember the Outside In Organizer and Makeovers approach: 1. Sort – put all discards into recycle, shred immediately. 2. Keep – is it something that requires action? If so, put it into your tickler system so that it is scheduled. If it is something that you need to save, Can it be scanned? ** 3. Reference – is it informational, only? If you discard it can you find it on the internet? If so, discard it. *TIP #1: Time who long it takes you to complete the task. This will give you an idea of how to schedule future projects. **TIP #2: Remember that your task is to sort, not to set up a new file system. Make that a separate project so you get this one completed. You will be more productive.
Multipurpose your calendar for note taking, mileage, expenses. You will be able to track everything more easily at the end of the month.
TipOfTheDay: Place the shredder next to or under your desk for immediate and easy access.