Organizing Tips for Working Women: Three Easy Steps
What do you do when you can no longer see over the stacks of stuff in your office or home? You say to yourself, "Get organized!" Translation: put stuff away, throw stuff away and just get it out of sight.
The problem with this Band-Aid® approach is that it's temporary. The idea is to learn how to be organized, not just to get organized.
Getting organized is an event – a one-time sweep that may last anywhere from an hour to a week, but not much longer. Then everything comes creeping back out, oftentimes worse than before.
Being organized involves having systems in place that accommodate how you think and how your habits carry you through the day. It must be intuitive to you so that it can be a process that is long-lasting.
So how does a person become organized? It's simple. Use the "Ready, Set, Go" system to get back to square one. Only 10 minutes a day of maintenance will keep the party going. This three-step process is instantly applicable.
Getting "ready" is when you figure out why you do the things you do. For example, if you are a perfectionist, you might realize that you work incessantly on things that are not important. It only makes you feel better but adds nothing of value to the project. Once you recognize your perfectionist tendencies, you can take action to change them. Take a risk and turn in a report after the second draft, not the eighth!
Getting "set" is when you take a look at your space, time and goals. Taking the time to sketch out what the space will look like when it’s done, creating a plan that includes a realistic time schedule and defining what success will look like are critical, yet often overlooked. Next, you need to plan out how you will achieve success – what steps need to be taken and in what order. Schedule them in your day planner and, voila, you have a plan.
Because clutter is no more than "unmade decisions," sorting is always difficult. We want to micro-sort. To eliminate this dilemma, use the EASY system. If you use the EASY system initially to become organized, you can then use it daily for 10 minutes to maintain. There are only four things you can do with a piece of paper as you sort:
- Eliminate – trash or shred
- Act on it – requires action
- Send it away – does not belong to you or in the space you are organizing
- You file it – needs to be filed away
It's very simple and doable. What are the results? You will:
- Get home from work on time.
- Spend more time with your family, not your computer.
- Find what you're looking for every time.
- Feel a sense of accomplishment.
- Create a work flow rather than a clog.
- Feel more confident in your work.
- Experience stress-free living and breathe more easily.
- Find plenty of space on your desk to accomplish your tasks.
Patty Kreamer is a Certified Professional Organizer and owner of Kreamer Connect, Inc., where she provides speaking, coaching and consulting services. Patty’s books, But I Might Need It Someday and The Power of Simplicity, are available for purchase at www.byebyeclutter.com.
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