9 Proven Principles for Increasing Productivity, Profit and Peace of Mind
Do you feel guilty about all the publications you purchase but never read -- or the articles you read with great ideas or opportunities you never implement? Are you spending time recreating marketing materials because you cannot find what you wrote the preceding month or year? Do you run out the door for an appointment at the last minute because you could not find your keys or the directions you needed to get where you are going? Are you frequently feeling tired and overwhelmed? Do the people you care about express frustration at your disorganization or want to spend more time with you? If so, "getting organized" should be high on your priority list!
One of the continual frustrations in my career as a professional organizing consultant has been people's misconceptions about what it means to be "organized." Visions of unrealistically tidy desks and impossible mandates such as "Handle a piece of paper only once" conjure up feelings of frustration and impossibility. Fears of being imprisoned by a specific work style eliminate the reality of the freedom resulting from true organization.
What does it mean to "get organized?" Many people have a total misunderstanding of what it really means. I am trained as a musician. I look at organizing as an art form. Paint me a picture of what you want your life to be like, and I will help you get organized so you can get there! "Organization" is very personal. To identify whether a particular aspect of your work or life is organized, ask these three questions:
1. Does it work?
Getting organized is about creating and sustaining a setting in which everything around you supports who you are and who you want to be ? and allows everyone else you care about to do the same! The secret of getting organized and staying organized is what we call a "Productive Environment." I have spent the past 25+ years assisting individuals and organizations to create and sustain a productive environment so they can accomplish their work and enjoy their lives. We do that by helping them organize their time, space and information.
If you are ready for a life that will help you increase your profit and decrease your stress, here are 9 proven principles to get you started:
1. Today's mail is tomorrow's pile:
2. Organizing in and of itself is of no value.
3. Clutter is postponed decisions.®
4. Implement The FAT System?.
5. Eighty percent of what you keep you never use.
6. Overresponsibility can become irresponsibility.
7. Half of any job is having the right tool.
8. Perfection prevents progress.
9. Asking for help is a sign of wisdom, not weakness.
Getting organized is an on-going process, not a destination. It is about progress, not perfectionism. When you feel less organized than you would like to be, forgive yourself, and move on. Substitute "If only?" with "Next time?" and you are on the right road!
Will any system turn you into a perennially "clean desk" person ? unlikely! Messy desks are the natural outcome of a hectic pace. A place for everything and everything in its place ? forget it, but it is half right! A place for everything means than when you want to clean up your office to meet a client, or just because you are sick of the mess yourself, recovering is no big deal! Some quick decision-making will clean off your desk in a matter of minutes, bring back a sense of control and get you on your way to productivity, profit, and peace of mind!
© Barbara Hemphill is the author of Kiplinger's Taming the Paper Tiger at Work and Taming the Paper Tiger at Home and co-author of Love It or Lose It: Living Clutter-Free Forever. The mission of Hemphill Productivity Institute is to help individuals and organizations create and sustain a productive environment so they can accomplish their work and enjoy their lives. We do this by organizing space, information, and time. We can be reached at 800-427-0237 or at www.ProductiveEnvironment.com
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