Office Organization

National Clean Out Your Computer Day

Most people need a specific day to get things done.  Well today is the day.  It’s National Clean Out Your  Computer Day –  always the second Monday in February.

If you haven’t cleaned out your computer or reviewed your files for some time, you may want to do it today.  McDonald’s corporate sets aside a day a year for their employees to clean out their files.

What about you? 

Your excuse might be: “It’s too much; I need more than a day. “ That’s okay.  I get it.  It could be very overwhelming to tackle this all at once. 

So don’t … 

Don’t tackle it all at once

Get started by taking just a chunk of it. One bite at a time.

Ever eat a Mounds bar? Even though it comes in 2 pieces, I’ll bet you don’t eat a whole piece in one bite!

1 bite at a time
1 bite at a time

Take a chunk out of your digital file clean out. Set yourself a reasonable time limit of at least an hour or two, and clean out as much as you can.  Keep a running note (on paper or a digital file) that let’s you know where you started and where you ended up.  You might want to schedule it for the same time for the next day, or two, or three days.  Or you might want to do it over the weekend, or several weeks, whenever is best for you.

Where to start

The logical place to start is with your first file folder, and keep working through your files.

 But that doesn’t mean you have to start there.  If you have a certain file that has been bothering you for some time, that’s a good place to start cleaning it up.  Just be sure to note that you did those files so you don’t have to review them again.

The better organized you are, the easier it is to find information when you want it. 

Keep less, find it fast.

Is Clutter Taking Over Your Home?

Cindy was frustrated by the appearance of her home.  In fact she was so frustrated that she even closed doors to all of the rooms.   The first reason she did this was so visitors didn’t see her messy house.  But the main reason was for her – she didn’t have to look at the clutter either — But it didn’t help.  The closed doors just made her feel worse about her house knowing that behind those closed doors lurked a mess.  A mess that she was going to have to clean up, someday.

 

As if she didn’t have enough things to do by going to work, coming home, making dinner, and taking care of the family; clutter represented one more thing to do–one of these days. Doors just helped her procrastinate the inevitable, but it didn’t remove the frustration of knowing it was there.

kitchen clutter

Kitchen clutter

 

Cindy’s frustration was adding to the physical clutter by giving her mental and emotional stress.

 

Worry that someone would think she was a terrible housekeeper.

Wondering how she was ever going to crawl out from under the piles.

Thinking how much more work she now had to do.

 

A lot of people get very discouraged when they realize that their frustrations are due to their inability to keep their house organized.

 

But it’s not your fault.

No one taught you how to Clear the Clutter and STAY organized.

 

There was no class in school like Health or Home Economics to teach you.  So things just started piling up, and the more they piled up, the easier it seemed to just add to the pile!

 

Whether your clutter is in many rooms, one room, or you just want to learn some systems for organization, click the link below now to discover how to Cut the Clutter to Enjoy Your Life.  This course won’t just show you how to declutter, it’s going to teach you systems to be organized.

 

Come join us!

 

CLICK HERE NOW!

The Right Conditions can Compel You to Complete a Goal

I like things to be organized, as you can imagine.   If you didn’t see the recent message, in the past few months I’ve had 5 surgeries since January, so doing spring cleaning was out of the question.  Either I had eye surgeries, a boot on my foot, or I had my eardrum repaired.  I didn’t feel like doing much of anything for the past few months.  Pain meds also affected my desire and drive.

I’ve been wanting to clean all the fake trees and plants in the house for some time.  Once I tried cleaning a large ceramic potted plant,  leaf by leaf.  It only took one plant and several hours to realize that just wasn’t going to ever happen again– especially with 4 large trees, 4 large ceramic potted plants, and more than half a dozen small planters.

 

goal - cleaning fake plants and trees

What compelled me to achieve this goal?

Cleaning fake plants is not my favorite thing, but it is one of those cleaning jobs that needs to be done once a year.  And to me, the late spring or early summer is the best time to get these plants done.

It was just the right temp today, a little breeze and not too cold to play with water. I might have to touch up a few leaves, but 95% of the dust just washes off the fake trees and plants with a hose.  (Do a light, wide stream – little pressure on the leaves.)   In fact most of the time it takes longer for the styrofoam or wicker basket inside the ceramic pots to dry than the plants themselves.  Of course I didn’t wash the expensive silk flower plant.  That’s for another day –with a paintbrush. (I haven’t tried the salt in a bag trick-at least not yet.)

As you can see in the picture, it’s not a small job.  The trees all mean climbing a ladder to hose down each tree starting with the top leaves.  The hardest part is getting the trees and big pots over the patio door track which is also raised about a half step.  Even though I keep the trees and large planters on rolling wheel stands to easily move them around the floor for vacuuming, many of the ceramic pots are way too heavy to lift over the patio door track.  I had to have help.

I had just the right conditions to compel me to get this done today –  the perfect weather, a little breeze and warm sun to dry the plants, and me (especially after my grandson’s idea of helping was to soak me too with the hose.)

My goal is now complete.

Another project done for the year.

I’ll probably sleep well tonite.  It’s a lot of exertion to move those trees and pots.

 

Something to check off my list – until next year.

 

What could compel you to get a goal done this season?

Travel Hacks

If you travel a lot, or even a few times a year, you will appreciate these travel hacks I found.

Having had my luggage lost and delivered a day late, twice; I have always followed the advice of packing an extra set of clothes.

I would add to that a jacket. You never know when you will have weather changes, cold airplanes, or even night weather drops. If it’s in your luggage and it’s lost or late, you’ll be happy to have it with you!

 

Read more tips here:  travel hacks

How to Know what Product to Create

 Something I am going through right now, paper file organization course or just digital organization? One of the things my mentor, Jeff Herring, says is Ask. So I have started asking. I haven’t had great results yet, but I am still asking. If you want to know what product to create, read Jeff Herring’s blog.

 

BIG Product Creation Mistake (Do THIS Instead!)

Two Reasons your New Year’s Resolutions didn’t work

If you set New Year’s Resolutions and they did not work, it is probably because of two reasons you haven’t considered:

Hint:  One of them is probably the wrong time of year for you.

Watch below.

 

 

Wrong Time or Right Time to Set Goals?

It’s holiday time and while that means going to family gatherings and holiday parties.

It’s a great time to relax and enjoy yourself.

It can also be a great time or the wrong time to do any type of real planning.

 

The wrong time:

Many people make New Year’s Eve Resolutions.  Do you?  Does this situation sound familiar?

You’re having a casual conversation with someone at the party and suddenly they ask you,

“What are your New Year’s Resolutions?”

Without anything pre-planned, you answer with something off the top of your head like

“Lose 10 pounds this year.”  or  “Grow my business.”

 

There was no real thought to the sudden announcement of your goal.  It just came out of your mouth.  The fact that you said it, means it’s probably a goal you have been consciously, or subconsciously, thinking about.  Unless….  you heard someone else say it and you were just looking for an easy answer—especially if you had no goals in mind.

 

Goals at New Year's Eve Party

New Year’s Eve Resolutions are the worst idea for 90% of the people.

 

The right time:

 Eric Lofholm, a sales expert, does his yearly planning and even teaches free marketing and sales planning sessions in December of every year.

Either the days just before New Year’s Eve, or the first week after New Year’s Eve, are a great time to set your goals than on New Year’s Eve.   As long as you are thinking about your goals with some serious thought, it can be the right time for you. That means you take a piece of paper and write your goals down, seriously weighing them in your mind.  Or you can weigh them on paper by giving them a score of 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest.  This can tell you whether a goal is something you really want to achieve this year.  If you are seriously thinking about your goals, then this might be the right time for you to plan your goals.

goals, New Year's Eve 2018

 

So if you like to plan in January, when will you choose to plan your real goals–

Before or after New Year’s Eve?

Let me know in the comments below.

 

And if you came here without subscribing to my list, optin for more organizing ideas in January.

www.everythinginitsplace.net/blog

Control Your Mail

It was our second Sunday meeting.  When I first saw her office, I was amazed at the banks and banks of 4-drawer lateral file cabinets on every wall.  I was used to a company having banks and banks of file cabinets, but not one person’s office.

 

I don’t know why I didn’t expect it.  After all I knew she was research scientist.

(So we will call her Marie after Marie Curie. I like to keep client names confidential.)  Marie was a Ph.D.  She already had several patents, but she was a paper warehouse.

 

Even after our third meeting, when she admitted she had stashed away 16 boxes full of mail, I didn’t flinch.  We just had to move to a conference room with a large table and dig through the boxes.

 

Hopefully you don’t have 16 banker boxes of mail, but one of the fastest ways to control your mail, is to eliminate what you don’t need in the first place – both paper and electronic mail.

 

Getting mail you either don’t want wastes your time.  So you need to get off mailing lists that you really don’t care about or aren’t reading.  Digitally, you can unsubscribe.  Just be careful not to unsubscribe from someone from whom you bought a program.  If you do, you will lose access to that program.

 

If you aren’t reading mail you’re getting, stop getting it. Most magazines or catalog companies will be happy to take you off their list — It saves them both printing and postage costs.  Just call them.  It’s worth 2 minutes of your time, and it comes off faster if you give them the information they put on your mailing label, like your customer account number.

 

Here’s some places you can go online to stop direct mail offers and get off some lists:

  1. To stop direct mail of magazine subscriptions, credit offers, catalogs, bank offers, and retail promotions– complete the form at the Direct Marketing association, dmachoice.org
  2. For unwanted credit or insurance offers, see OptOut Prescreen.com.
  3. For unwanted advertising, complete the National Do Not Mail List.at directmail.com.

Your own email service may have a spam folder as well.   (Always check- some things get marked as spam that are not.)

How’s your mail situation?

 

 

 

To Read , Not to Read, or to File – Magazines

Whether you work in an office environment or you just have magazines  at home; it’s a great time to clean out your reading material.

 

Magazines

 

magazine article

Discussing magazine article

Question:     Are you going to read that magazine?

Answer:       No

 

  1. Cancel subscriptions.

    If you have a year’s worth of magazines, chances are you no longer want to read that magazine. So unsubscribe from them so you don’t receive any more.

You can usually find the address under the Table of Contents to write or call to cancel the  subscription.

You will need your address label ID # if it was mailed to you, especially if it was in a plastic wrapper.

 

  1. Donate any used magazines to libraries, hospitals, or doctor’s offices.

    People in waiting rooms always love reading material.  (donate books too)  Wherever people wait, there is time to read.

 

 

Ans:  Yes

Was it an impulse buy at the checkout lane?

If so, you probably just want to read that one article that attracted your attention. Then pull out that one article, and donate the rest of the magazine.

 

If you have a collection of magazines that are sitting in a pile, here’s a great trick to make that pile disappear quickly:

  1. Go through the Table of Contents of ever magazine you want to keep.
  2. Highlight the article you really want to read.
  3. Remove the article, including all “continued on pg. ___” and staple it together.
  4. Put the articles in a To Read file that you can carry with you when you have to wait.
  5. Or – File the article in a subject area and read it when you open that subject’s file.  (paper or computer)

Waiting for a meeting to start, read at lunch, read on the train, read at appointments.  Read anywhere you wait 

 

Email Magazines/Newsletter

If you get magazines, or newsletters from people you don’t read, look for the “Unsubscribe link”  at the bottom of their newsletter.

Just DON’T UNSUBSCRIBE if you also bought a program from them or you won’t be able to access your program.

 

Other Reading Material – Reports, Charts, Statistics,

You may have something lengthy like Meeting Minutes, reports, charts, statistics, etc. that you want to read or even re-read to understand all of the material.  Put these items in your To Read file too!

 

Which of these techniques will you implement?  Comment below.

 

 

Are your Fall Goals too Big?

 Did you set some goals for this quarter?

If so, how are you doing?

Are you taking action?

 

action-running-stock-unlimited

Are you taking action on your goals?

If you feel you are not moving forward, a common reason is:

It is just too big!!!

 

What goal did you set?

Did you decide you are going to revamp your entire office?

 

Cutting the Clutter in your Office means:

  • Clear your desk – desktop AND drawers

    desk, papers, files, office organization,

    Messy Desk

  • Clear your file cabinet(s)  – how many cabinets do you have?
  • Clear your overhead bins
  • Clear the cubicle walls
  • Clear your bookcases
  • Clear your magazine holders.
  • Clear your computer

 

As you can see, there are too many areas to be uncluttered in an “entire” office.

It becomes overwhelming, and no one wants to tackle that much work, especially trying to do it all in one weekend.

 

So what can you do?

If you are looking to organize your office, you can see we have 8 areas.  You might think you could just divide that into 8 weeks and get it all done in 8 weeks.  Don’t fool yourself, they aren’t exactly even areas.

Depending on how many file cabinets you have, that will be the bulk of the work.

But you probably can’t finish a four- drawer file cabinet in one day unless you are already extremely organized and maintain it.

And if you work in a corporate or non-profit environment, you probably can’t take an entire day off to do even one file drawer.   It all depends on how much you have saved and how organized you are.

If you did do a major cleaning out at one time and have maintained that organization, you may not have too much to declutter.  However, if you have never really cleaned out your files, it will take quite awhile.

 

 

So how can you get it all done?

Break it down into smaller chunks, bite-sized pieces,

that you feel you could accomplish in one session, and do it that way.

Piece by piece by piece.

 

 

Bio:  Eileen Roth is a productivity expert, speaker and the author of Organizing For Dummies®.  She has appeared on the Today Show and Oprah.  If you would like free tips on organizing your office, home, or time management,  subscribe here:  http://www.everythinginitsplace.net.

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