Two minutes now (Day 3 of 31 Days of Organizing)

Two minutes now saves hours later LIHow many times have you left the house and realized you forgot something?

Or how many times have you searched high and low for something and wasted 10, 20, or even 45 minutes looking for it?

Today in 31 Days of Organizing, I’m going to talk about the power of routines and the magic of two minutes now saves hours later.

See, I believe most anything can be simplified and systematized with a routine.

An effective daily routines take only two minutes.

I’m completely serious!

  • Daily flossing (only floss the ones you want to keep)
  • Handling the mail (snail)
  • Handling email (okay, this is maybe 15 minutes with an effective and efficient routine, but still…)
  • Having a leaving-the-house-mantra: phone, wallet, keys (this one belongs to my hubby) and knowing exactly where those items are
  • Creating a home for something and labeling it
  • Making a new client folder and labeling it (remember: paper folder, electronic folder, email folder – this is one area where I like things to be matchy-matchy)
  • Closing or opening anything (a quick routine ensures you don’t forget anything)
  • Making updates (a thorough checklist doesn’t take long and saves hours later when you discover you forgot a step and have to go back and redo the thing in whole or in part)
  • Daily writing (you might write longer than 2 minutes, but having a routine to get you in the “writing frame of mind” is invaluable)

I’m so wild about two minutes now saves hours later because it’s so very, very true.

I’ve seen mail piles three feet tall because someone didn’t take two minutes each day to sort their mail using the recycle bin and shredder.

I’ve seen email strings that go on for 20 messages because someone wouldn’t take two minutes to schedule a lunch appointment by phone.

I’ve seen late fees, over limit fees, and missed opportunities because said, “I’ll take care of that later” and never got back around to handling the important matter.

And I’ve seen people stressed out, harried, and lonely because they don’t take two minutes each day to pet their cat or dog. They think, “I’ll do it later” — except sometimes later never comes.

If you sigh in exasperation and say, “Angie, I can’t even find two minutes in my too-busy day,” I can help.

Make Some Room,

Angie

P.S. When you’re ready to do something about your disorganization, procrastination, or overwhelm, I can help. Let’s schedule a Clarity Session and get you into action.

It’s easier to keep up than to catch up (Day 2 of 31DoO)

easier to keep upOver the past couple weeks in social media land, I asked for specifics about where you are struggling with organization, time management, and/or prioritization so I could speak directly to your issues during our 31 Days of Organizing together.

One reader wrote, “I struggle with prioritization when it comes to organization. Where do I start?

This is a great question.

The simple answer is: just begin. Doesn’t matter where. Just start.

That’s true for anything, isn’t it?

Let’s get more specific though and answer the question this reader isn’t consciously asking.

On my Make Some Room Manifesto, I note that it’s easier to keep up than to catch up. Keep that in mind as I get into specifics below.

When someone in front of me confesses to feeling overwhelmed and not knowing where to even start, I automatically ask them, “What are you struggling with most?

See, for most people, the clutter, the piles, and the overwhelm are symptoms of something subtle but very powerful.

Often, the cause of these symptoms is really that you’re giving your power away. You say “yes” to too many things. You let yourself off the hook when it comes to adopting and abandoning tools.

There are generally three ways to figure out where you’re giving your power away:

  1. Where are you losing the most time? For example, are you constantly searching for papers, electronic files, emails, or something else?
  2. Where are you losing the most energy? Is there one area of your life or business that makes you feel exhausted?
  3. Where are you losing the most money? If you’re literally forgetting to invoice clients or deposit checks because you misplaced them OR if you aren’t following up on leads – you are losing money.

If you’re struggling with all three, pick the one you’re affected by most (for some people, it might energy; for others, money). Begin there. Get it to a manageable and workable point, and keep it up with it (remember that keeping up is easier than catching up, yes?). Once you’re keeping up with that area, move on to the next problem area. Get it to a manageable and workable point, and keep it up with it. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Easy as pie, yes?

If using this method still doesn’t help, it might be time to call in an expert. I can help. I have the gift of being able to see very quickly where people are stuck. I can help you move into action so you can:

  • Create more time
  • Discover more energy
  • Make more money

Make Some Room,

Angie

P.S. If this 31 Days of Organizing isn’t your thing, I sincerely invite you to unsubscribe. It’s easy – see the unsubscribe button below? My feelings absolutely won’t be hurt. And your inbox will be immediately less cluttered.

P.P.S. If, however, you know it’s time to do something about your disorganization, procrastination, or overwhelm, I can help. Let’s schedule a Clarity Session and get you into action.

Your brain is not for remembering (Day 1 of 31 Days of Organizing)

your brain is not for rememberingWelcome to Day 1 of 31 Days of Organizing. A little housekeeping: you will be hearing from me every single day (including weekends) between now and December 31st. If you don’t want to play along, feel free to unsubscribe at the bottom of this page! I’m not here to harass you or fill up your inbox with unwanted messages. I am here to share great organizing solutions to help make your life easier, simpler, and less chaotic.

Let’s begin!

I want to start with the very first thing that’s on my Make Some Room Manifesto:

Your Brain is Not for Remembering!

Seriously, it’s not. Even Albert Einstein said, “Never remember something you can look up.”

Your gorgeous noggin’ is for creating, thinking, strategizing, pondering, and wondering.

Your tools and technology are for remembering.

How do you do that? Get one or two tools and USE them.

Want to know the mistake most people make here?

Squirrel!

What?

Oh, right. The mistake most people (you?) make…

Imagine you start using a new tool on your computer. Maybe something like Microsoft Outlook. You’ve heard it can be a good tool (and indeed it can be). So, you get all excited about being organized, you input a few tasks, schedule a few work blocks and get on with your day.

Then an email arrives or an issue of Inc. Magazine or Fast Company hits your desk. You read about a new tool to help you be more productive. Maybe it’s a new kind of To Do software or it’s a something that filters and organizes email. Or it’s a new way to categorize your contacts.

You get all excited and download this new tool. You input a few tasks, put in a few work blocks, and you spend some time clicking around to re-organize your contacts for maximum efficiency (as the tool promised).

Tomorrow, you have lunch with a colleague and they mention a new tool to you. “I love it,” this person gushes. “I just started using it yesterday and it’s already saved me, like, four hours!”

Excited, you go back to your office and download this new tool. You input a few tasks, put in a few work blocks, and you spend some time clicking around to re-organize your contacts.

See where I’m going with this?

I call it tool abandonment and it’s a sad state of affairs that happens multiple times a day across the world (especially in Business Land).

The thing is, if your brain isn’t for remembering and you continue to adopt and then abandon tools repeatedly, it’s no wonder you feel like a crazy person (and really are disorganized and unproductive, right?).

Tools and technology should not be complicated.

The secret is: YOU MUST BE CONSISTENT USING THEM.

If your brain isn’t for remembering (and it’s not), then the idea is for you to get things off your mind and into your tools so you can give your noggin a break.

THIS is how you end the crazies and stop tool abandonment.

Does this make sense? Here, I’ll do it step-by-step for you:

  1. Decide what you need to get off your mind (usually it’s contact information, To Do’s, calendar items, and lists of stuff for later)
  2. Choose the appropriate tool or tools to do the job (choose simple tools and as few of them as possible)
  3. Input information from your mind into your tools.
  4. Use the tool(s) every day. Create the habit and you’ll automatically input information regularly and reliably.
  5. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
  6. Bonus: when a tool is working for you, AVOID the temptation of other tools (Squirrel! Shiny Object! Pretty!). Decide it’s nice to know about them, but you don’t need them since your tools are working great [insert sigh of relief here].

Got it? Good.

If you’re flummoxed, I can help. There are only a few tools I recommend for individuals and teams to help them simplify and streamline their work.

Make Some Room (and for Pete’s sake, quit abandoning tools),

Angie

P.S. If this isn’t your thing, I sincerely invite you to unsubscribe. It’s easy – see the unsubscribe button below? My feelings absolutely won’t be hurt. And your inbox will be immediately less cluttered.

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