TipOfTheDay: Schedule your commute to and from appointments into your calendar. Be realistic about the time that you have available.
As 2012 approaches think about ways to organize your calendar. Write down all of the important occasions (birthdays and anniversaries) on your calendar for the entire year now. Buy cards for the entire month (always keep a few extra blank ones on hand). File them in your bill organizer each month (a week before the due date). You will never miss telling someone you care…on time!
Don’t sabatoge your time. Plan to run errands at times when you are least likely to have to wait in lines. Too many excuses not to exercise? Do it first thing in the morning before you turn on the computer! Make difficult phone calls first & get them over with.
Establish a routine for accomplishing regular tasks. These might include: responding to email, paying bills, making phone calls, running errands. Set a day & time slot to do these tasks. For example, commit to some type of exercise every morning from 7-8 a.m. Check email 2x/day from 10-10:20 a.m. and 3-3:20 p.m. The benefit of a routine is to create blocks of time to work on more meaningful projects.
You want to organize, right? You know that you would benefit from being more organized but for some reason, don’t do it. Most often it is because the task seems overwhelming. My clients tell me they don’t know where to start. Outside In Organizer is a professional organizing service that helps you break it down into manageable steps. You can do it!
People ask me how they can get a handle on incoming mail. Outside In Organizer & Makeovers supports this basic approach: SORT PRIORITIZE CONTAIN The first thing you can do is schedule adequate, uninterrupted time to sort. Begin with one pile at a time, preferably recent mail, first. Don’t distract yourself and move from one pile to another. TIP: handle one piece of paper at a time, only once!
When I’m out and see a dog pulling it’s owner by the leash I can’t help but wonder who is walking whom? Is your email managing you and your time? Is it causing you stress and the feeling of being overwhelmed? Try this process for no less than 2 weeks: (1) Commit to checking your email no more than 2-3x/day. Schedule 10-20 minutes everyday, at specific times, and check only then! The benefits? You will feel more focused and less distracted and this alone will improve your productivity. (2) Delete junk email immediately. Unsubscribe to sites that do not have specific personal or professional value. The benefits? You will save time, money, and have more time for important communications. (3) Create a folder for “ACTION” emails. When you check email, if you can act on it quickly, do so. Move all other “action” items into the folder; these are items that have a due date and/or require more attention. The benefits? You will have an effective system for prioritizing tasks, save time looking for items, and never miss a deadline. (4) Create a folder for “REFERENCE” emails. Move items that have no due date or require any action into this folder. These are emails that look interesting and can be read later or kept for future informational purposes. Purge this folder at least monthly, if you haven’t read these items in a month they are probably not important enough to save! The benefits? Optimize your time, manage the volume of incoming emails, prioritizing improves productivity and reduces stress.
People hire POs for a variety of reasons. It’s not unusual to think that you can do it yourself and after repeated attempts (or perhaps, procrastination) realize that you need a professional to come in and help. That’s why most of us hire professionals to help us in various aspects of our personal and professional lives. Outside In Organizer & Makeovers treats each client with the utmost care. Most of my clients are organized but due a variety of life circumstances have just gotten behind with certain tasks or projects. Need someone to get you started? Help you prioritize? Hold you accountable? Do the research and look for a Professional Organizer who is trained to assess your needs, create a plan of action, and help you develop a system of organization that you can maintain over time.
At Outside In Organizer and Makeovers the approach that is used is always benefit-oriented. Will it save me time? Save me money? Reduce my stress level? Allow me to feel more in control? More focused? Only you can decide what your reason for organizing is, then let the Professional Organizer step in and make suggestions. Remember that this is typically about changing habits and behaviors. That means that it takes time and practice so that you can see how it is helping you achieve your goal(s). Here are some more great organizing tips: http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/cleaning-organizing/clean-out-clutter#slide-1
It’s gratifying to see people embrace ideas and strategies that you share with them. I had an opportunity to talk with the San Diego Society of Women Engineers recently. Check out my friend Louise Julig’s blog on http://www.thoughtshappen.net/2011/09/how-do-you-really-spend-your-time-only-one-way-to-find-out.html All of us, including myself can benefit from doing a weekly time audit. Discover how you really are or are not using your time. This is powerful information that you can use for making the changes you desire!