How long will this take? How to reorganize your life! This month is the perfect time to check in with your goals for 2015 and develop a strategy for how to reorganize your life. Did you intend for this to be the year that you would be more organized, more effective with time management, and be able to achieve your goal for increasing productivity? How you are doing? Are you feeling overwhelmed or frustrated because you are not even close to achieving your goals? If your to-do list growing instead of shrinking that is a red flag. Admit it, you are probably struggling with winter doldrums, waning motivation, and feeling somewhat discouraged. Don’t give up because I have loads of suggestions and tips that will re-ignite your desire to get and stay organized. Take a deep breath and sit down with your planner for at least 30 minutes of uninterrupted time. This is your first step in getting re-organized. Organizing is a process, just like getting fit. You aren’t finished when you get organized (or fit). Life happens and unexpected situations come up so it’s important to not only maintain your organization but to refine and adjust. It would be similar to achieving your fitness goals and then not continuing to work out or challenge yourself, right? Easy step #1: Review. Reviewing your goals (this is not the same as a to-do list) is similar to assessing your inventory. Eliminate any of the ones that you’ve accomplished or no longer consider relevant. Easy step #2: Create a deadline. Some goals have deadlines, for example, taxes are due in April. Create a realistic deadline for goals that do not have one. Learning to estimate how much time tasks take is the key to success. Easy step #3: Prioritize. It’s overwhelming… read more →
The reason why people feel disorganized is because they lack 3 important Optimal Habits: Ground Rules Time to organize Realistic estimation of time Being a Personal Organizer is not all that different than being a personal trainer. If you want to get fit you need to determine what to do and how often. Once you are fit, you are not finished! You need to have a maintenance routine to stay fit, right? If you want to get organized and stay organized you need to set some Ground Rules for yourself. I call these Optimal Habits. Would any of these organizing Ground Rules help you? Reduce the amount of inventory. Maintain the reduced amount of items. When you add an item, you need to let go of another. Adhere to the 1-at-a-time rule. Work in one space, on one pile or drawer at a time. Don’t get distracted going from one room to another. Purge, sort and organize items on a regularly scheduled basis. As a Professional Organizer I want to tap into my client’s understanding of the benefits of organizing. It begins with scheduling; creating uninterrupted time to organize. It’s essential to set aside dedicated time to focus on what you need to do. Optimal Habits include working during your peak energy time, focusing on one area, and having a plan. One of the reasons people tend to feel disorganized is because their expectations are often unrealistic. Getting organized takes as much or more time than it takes to get disorganized. Be patient, please. This is where time management is so essential to feeling and being organized. In addition to scheduling time to organize I put on my Time Management Coach hat and suggest that you assign a realistic estimation of how much time it will take to declutter, sort, organize,… read more →
As a Personal Organizer and Time Management Coach I can tell you that your organizing and time management needs change with the seasons. It is getting dark earlier and soon the clocks will change. How does that impact you and your family, your schedules, and routines? Do you tend to feel more sluggish this time of year? Do you eat differently? Does your productivity seem to vary at home, school or work? This month I’m going to challenge you to take a proactive approach, practice self-care, and get organized in every aspect of your life! I am going to share my personal seasonal organizing and time management tips so that you can easily use them to help you feel less stressed during the Fall season and into the holidays. The first action I am asking you to take is to sign up for my San Diego Outside In Organizer and Makeover newsletter. Here are 3 reasons why you don’t want to miss out on receiving my monthly newsletter: Special offers and incentives Easy to implement organizing and time management strategies, checklists, and tools An invitation to my upcoming workshops This month look for my seasonal organizing tips and posts for your health, work, school, travel, guests, and holiday preparation!
Which is it, are you the disorganized boss, or is it the employee who is disorganized? One sure sign of disorganization is poor time management, and the result is diminished productivity. It doesn’t matter if it is the boss or the employee who is disorganized since both of your styles affect one another and your work. If you are the disorganized boss (late for meetings, unprepared, difficulty prioritizing) with the organized employee here are some strategies to put into place: Ask the employee to work out a system to signal you 10-15 minutes before your next appointment, task, or when you need to leave the office to commute. Have a brief daily planning session to review what got done that day, what needs additional time (schedule it), and what is coming up for the next 2-3 days. Schedule blocks of time for your open door hour(s). Let your employees know when those times are. Ask your administrative assistant to schedule time for employees that need to meet with you at other times. But wait, what if you are the organized boss with a disorganized employee (can’t find what you need when you need it, poor scheduling skills, multi-tasker)? The most effective strategies to use in this scenario include: Clear, documented communication about expectations, including timelines. Ongoing reviews of the employees progress and opportunities for him/her to ask for help. Measurable goals with expected outcomes. Implement the necessary strategies today and whenever possible, be proactive. It’s not really the employee’s responsibility to take the leadership role in getting things organized.
Here is an important tip for the boss who feels disorganized: Get to the point! Your team members will perceive you as more organized if your communication is straightforward and succinct. However, if your thoughts and communication are disorganized it will impact your team members and employees in various ways: Ability to follow directions Understanding expectations Capacity to help the organization’s goals Identify your strengths – are you stronger verbally or in writing? If your strength is in verbally articulating your goals, expectations, and standards ask someone to record what you say in writing. Have them say it back to you to check for accuracy before it is distributed to other team members. If your ability to convey information in writing is stronger, highlight the key points verbally from your notes, then distribute the written version. Now for the critical measure of functioning as an organized boss… Identify the key 2-3 points you need to communicate. Tell your team what you are going to talk to them about and then tell them. Summarize what you told them. Then, ask them if there is anything that they need clarified. By modeling this type of communication, one that builds from your strengths, you can expect others to do the same. Try it, role play it, get feedback. I promise that your organization ranking will increase! As a Time Management Coach and Professional Organizer my mantra is schedule time to plan this. Don’t try to wing it!
Are you a disorganized boss? If so, it will often become apparent in your daily and weekly schedule. Does this sound familiar? Unprepared for meetings Working on things at the last minute No time scheduled for planning If that sounds like you then there are 2 ways to address these issues. First, if you have an organized administrative assistant, have him or her create a weekly template with blocks of time dedicated to specific activities. If you do not have someone to delegate this task to it is helpful to work with a Time Management Coach/Professional Organizer who can help you set up this type of system. Keep it simple and use one type of calendar, if possible. Whether it is a paper planner or online calendar it is important to be able to view the entire week. Secondly, make sure that your weekly schedule includes time to plan ahead each day as well as at the end of each week. You will feel, think and behave in more organized and productive ways when you create these 2 time management habits!
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!
Here is the last of my favorite 6 Ways to Feel More Organized with Time Management tips: Use Deadlines. Some projects and tasks come with due dates or deadlines. That is a built-in time management tool that creates a sense of urgency. When there is a deadline or due date I would encourage you to: Analyze each of the steps that need to be taken to complete the project and Determine how much time you need to complete each step. Knowing those 2 pieces of information allows you to plan backwards and schedule each step well before the deadline. There are some projects that have no deadline though and here is the time management tool to implement in those cases: create your own deadline for the project. Remember that if something is important enough to you and you want to accomplish it, assigning it a deadline will help you to plan, schedule, and complete it. Take a minute to post your questions and comments on my Outside In Organizer and Makeovers Facebook page or follow me @DeniseOrganizer on Twitter and tweet your comment. Still shy about social media but have a question or idea? You can always email me: email@example.com
These are my 6 best ways to help you can feel more organized about your life with time management: 1. Overestimate 2. Take breaks 3. Trash your to-do list 4. Establish and maintain a sleep routine 5. Plan regularly 6. Use deadlines If you only change one way you manage your time in order to feel more organized, the most important way is to get enough sleep! That’s right, getting an adequate amount of uninterrupted sleep on a regular basis is the most foundational time management habit you can create and maintain. Why? Just think about how you feel and function when you don’t! Inadequate and irregular sleep negatively affects your concentration, mood, physical energy and decision making. It’s a well known fact that Americans are sleep-deprived. Make it your goal to establish a consistent sleep routine and observe how it changes your organization and productivity at work and at home. Set your intention to do these 3 things for at least 2-3 weeks: Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, even weekends. Allow yourself 20-30 minutes before you go to sleep for calming. No more television, email, etc. Just read something soothing, listen to calming music, or stretch and practice breathing mindfully. Notice any difference in the quality of your sleep and how you feel when you wake up. Observe any difference in your energy level and concentration throughout the day. See if you feel more organized and efficient, less harried and more in control. Post your comments on my Outside In Organizer and Makeovers Facebook page.
Do you feel more organized when you have enough time to get the things that you want and need to do? Here are my 6 surefire ways to feel more organized using time management as an organizing tool: 1. Overestimate 2. Take breaks 3. Trash your to-do list 4. Establish and maintain a sleep routine 5. Plan regularly 6. Use deadlines It may sound strange but stop working and take a break! Scheduling regular breaks can improve your overall productivity, help you to refocus, and feel more energized. There are lots of ways to take breaks, for instance: Move – get up from your desk, stretch, take a walk. Nourish – hydrate, eat healthy snacks. Reward yourself – after 60-90 minutes of sustained work do something fun for 10 minutes such as call a friend, play your favorite online game, work on a crossword puzzle. Here is an article with more ideas about why taking breaks is part of your time management and productivity plan: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/19/youve-been-taking-breaks-_n_4453448.html Post your comments on my Outside In Organizer and Makeovers Facebook page Follow @DeniseOrganizer on Twitter and tweet your comment, or Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org