Contrary to popular belief, you don’t actually need to throw anything away to get organized, because organizing is not about getting rid of things. Organizing is the process of identifying what’s important to you and giving yourself access to it.True organizing is about designing systems of storage and retrieval. People who need to get organized usually know where they want to go (e.g. start a business, win a promotion, save a marriage, be a better parent), they just need help overcoming the obstacles on the path to their destination.
Are you suffering from too much multi-tasking? Over the past 7 weeks I’ve been traveling all over the country, giving speeches, workshops and consulting with individual clients. The universal cry? People are feeling scattered, and overwhelmed with demands and to-do’s. We plunge through our day like octopi—doing 8 things at once. Are we more productive? Actually, no...
Cleaning professionals say that getting rid of excess clutter reduces housework by 40%!When someone refers to things in their home as “collecting dust”, they’ve hit the nail on the head!Having lots of stuff around—like knick-knacks, piles of mail, stacks of grocery bags, and newspapers does more than clutter up a room.It makes cleaning much more difficult and provides the ideal place for dust and it’s allergens to accumulate.
Perfectionism is tricky: It seems like a virtue and a point of honor, but taken to extremes, it's a paralyzing trap. In my years of working with clients, I've learned that although perfectionists believe their goal is excellence, more than anything else they are looking for security.Problem solvers at heart, they often feel an adrenaline rush every time they go deep and start refining details. Airtight results make them feel safe, immunized against criticism from others. Yet they endlessly berate themselves. They're upset about not getting through that reading pile or not saying yes to every request. And they evaluate their work with one of two grades: Perfect or Complete Disaster. This approach is demoralizing, depressing, and unimaginative.
When I met Francine, a publicist for a large public relations firm, she was on performance probation. Her livelihood was in jeopardy if she didn’t start producing results fast...
Bill paying is not for the faint hearted -- who wants to
part with their money? Sometimes it's dread--do I have enough in the bank? Complicating
matters, bills have a highly erratic personality, arriving at various times
throughout the month, offering staggered due dates and a myriad of payment
Regardless of income, honest folk have been known to come
home to no lights, or destroy their credit because they can’t keep track of
dates and account balances. Try explaining that to the cable company!
Swashbuckle the onslaught with a simple, reliable system
that minimizes the torture and maximizes your confidence in the information you
are working from....
Many families divvy up household chores. One member will
manage the joint finances. Another is the family chef. Sound efficient? It is,
except for one thing: If the cook doesn’t have time to broil a chicken, they
can always order pizza. But if (heaven forbid) anything ever happened, would
all members of the family know where to find important documents?
Consider putting your heads together to compile a Vital
Documents Map. Don’t worry – it’s not nearly as scary and imposing as it
sounds. A Vital Documents Map is merely an index of all your most important
records, so that in the worst-case scenario – you lose your wallet; your files
are somehow destroyed; you have a sudden medical emergency – you’ll be able to
reconstruct them with ease....
When it comes to travelling—people usually fall into one of
two categories-underpackers and overpackers.Whether for business or leisure, short or long hauls, plane or car
travel, the stress of getting ready and feeling disorganized on the road
sometimes makes traveling hardly seem worthwhile.
Your goal is to take everything
you need, without feeling anxious that you’ve left something behind, or annoyed
with yourself for taking too much. To
attain your travel- light goals, either imitate Mick Jagger, and take roadies,
or follow these well-travelled words of wisdom....
Quick: Do you
know where your birth certificate is?What about the warranty for your digital camera? Chances are they’re
buried in one of the many piles that plague you—along with everything else,
from newsletters, to pay-stubs, to grocery receipts, all cast amidst paper
mountains. You’re not alone.In fact,
most people are beset by paper; it’s hard to know what to save, how to
categorize and file.
Unless your filing system is 75% effective, I
recommend starting from scratch.This
project can take a full day (or weekend), but the payoff is....
To someone else, your items of memorabilia might look like junk, but in truth, each one holds the seed of a story. Items don’t start out as memorabilia. They begin as functional objects that get sanctified through time—often by the mere fact they didn’t get trashed!Without a system, piles of college notebooks, bags of bellbottoms, and kids’ school projects get stuffed, stashed, lost for years, and often destroyed in the process.
Let’s define true memorabilia as objects that encapsulate your most significant memories, when a photo just won’t do. Their physical form transports you to a time in your life with a mere smell, touch or glance....
Because life today demands that we
work smarter, move faster, and know more, surrounding us with so many
opportunities, it’s hard to not get caught up in the go-go-go frenzy of it all.
The best response to this is to apply the brakes from time to time, to think
before you jump and be willing to say “no” occasionally.
possible? Think about it.
because you can work twenty-four
hours a day doesn’t mean you should. Just because you are able to put your
calendar on the computer doesn’t mean you have to. Just because you received
There is nothing more frustrating
or disheartening about organizing than investing hours and hours of effort but
seeing absolutely no improvement in your space. This kind of discouraging
experience is really the result of poor organizing techniques, which are easily
fixable. To see visible, dramatic results each time you work, avoid common
mistakes such as “Zigzag Organizing.”
people make the mistake of scattering their organizing efforts, working back
and forth between several rooms at once. This is what I call “zigzag
organizing,” a method that is guaranteed to provide the minimum results in the
maximum time. You start with a drawer, find a book inside that belongs
elsewhere, go to the bookcase, and discover the shelves are so messy....
If you must remove paper documents from folders,
it can sometimes be very difficult to locate the file again. Then, you end up
having single sheets of paper on your desk that need to be filed. Make it
extremely easy and mindless to return items to their original homes by leaving