Photo by Megan Rogers Photographie
Q. My office is a mess. How will I ever get organized?
A. Some projects are so overwhelming that we can feel paralyzed. Here are the keys to getting started:
HAVE A POSITIVE ATTITUDE
Once a little progress is made, it's easier to ride the euphoria and keep going.
Start with the inflow, dealing with anything that comes in today (mail, etc.). It is easier to keep up than catch up.
Consider trading time with a friend or hire help for accountability and faster results.
SCHEDULE TIME FOR ORGANIZING
Put your project on the calendar and keep that appointment.
BREAK INTO CHUNKS
Break the project into manageable tasks, or "eat the elephant one bite at a time" so to speak.
Spend your energy on areas where results are immediate. For example, clear the top of your desk rather than sorting old files.
THE COST OF BEING UNORGANIZED
There are financial, time and emotional costs to being unorganized. What we already own continues to deteriorate as it sits lost in a pile or in storage. Anything that goes unused or un-enjoyed has lost all value already.
Making the same purchase over and over because we can't find it when we need it, purchasing organizational tools and systems to contain and tame the excess, or renting storage units can be costly.
In his book, “When the Game Is Over It All Goes Back in the Box,” John Ortberg says we spend sixteen minutes a day (roughly one year of our lives) looking for lost possessions. Visual clutter clutters the mind, hindering our ability to focus or be creative.
Keeping everything that we would like to do, read, reference, etc. can be overwhelming. Every magazine and project idea that we pile on our desks is adding to our to-do list, and creates more guilt over not being able to get it all done. Hanging onto something because it was costly to acquire, even though it's not being used or enjoyed, is just a reminder of a bad purchase.
Paper is a main issue in most offices. There is a two-step approach to this conundrum.
STEP 1: REDUCE incoming PAPER clutter
Invest in a good app such as Evernote.
Switch to online statements and bill pay.
Curb the number of incoming catalogs with the free service at catalogchoice.org.
STEP 2: Set up a SYSTEM
Use attractive organizational tools to help create and maintain order.
Have a to-do list with tasks assigned to a master calendar and bulletin board.
Gather all items needed for common tasks.
Rachele Pruett, Owner & Professional Organizer