3 Organizing Skills for a More Productive Work Day

 

3 organizing skills for a more productive work day

 

Office workers waste an average of 40% of their workday.  Not because they aren’t smart, but because they were never taught organizing skills to cope with the increasing workloads and demands according to the Wall Street Journal Report

Does your workday evaporate and suddenly it’s the end of the day? Do you think you lack skills to manage quickly multiplying projects? Does your day feel chaotic rather than organized? It all comes down to learning skills for prioritizing, organizing and planning to help you manage your work and your work load.

 

Prioritizing: learning the skill of knowing what to do

There are many good ideas for your work. Not every idea has equal benefit. Some times these ideas can be linear in implementation and some times these depend on preliminary successes. Start by gathering all these ideas together in a list.

This is strategic planning time where you create a big picture of what will move your business forward. This planning can be accomplished annually or monthly with an overview of goals for the year and specific actions assigned to a month. Without this planning, you may be working on tasks that keep you from bigger accomplishments and increased revenue. With this planning you are prepared for the weeks, months and quarters ahead that yield the results you want to see.

On your planner, schedule this time on a mid-month morning for a monthly overview. You can use a dashboard with data to drive your assessment of successes and next steps for planning. This dashboard can be consolidated data from customer information, income and expenses and marketing information. By assessing your successes, you are celebrating and setting plans for next steps.

Intuitively you may know the priorities and may be ready to list these. However, an additional professional tip is that you may need to talk through your priorities to set these.  Having a list may not be enough to help you strategize. Partner up with a trusted colleague or advisor to help you sort through and sequence your list.

 

Organizing: learning the skill of when to do

Drill down to the specific tactics to gain traction on your plan.  Week by week specific tasks will accomplish this.  Set aside weekly planning time to be prepared for the weeks, months and quarters ahead. That weekly planning time should occur at the same time every week. Use time blocking during your weekly planning time to schedule these tasks.

With the best plan, limiting distractions is key.  Set a time in your day to check email and update information received by text or other communication. These distractions take time and energy away from your actual work.  If you find yourself low in energy, drink water or take a short walk outside or around the office.  At times a “warm up” is needed to move into a work flow.  Add time at the end of a work session to leave yourself notes on where you ended to jump start your next session.

 

Organizing: learning the skill of how to access and categorize resources

This is the most frequent flaw for work.  With multiple projects, you want to have outstanding organizing to find what you need when you are ready to work. This organizing pertains to how to access and categorize your resources and materials to work.  You will have to organize your resources and documents digitally and on paper. Set up your resources by the name of the projects and the name of the client. Create digital files for the documents that parallel paper files. These can be on your device desktop digitally and should later move to document files. Paper files can be easily accessed in a file cart or a physical desk top sorter.

 

Planning: learning the skill of tracking

Next, keep this plan easy to see and accomplish. There are many ways to organize this information.  Digital planners and apps such as Asana and Trello help you schedule your work, consolidate the information and keep you accountable with reminders.  Paper planners such as Planner Pad, Bullet Journal or Blue Sky week at a glance planners offer you visual support for your plan.  Write in and record as much as you can to keep you on track on your work. A professional tip is to color code your projects.  Color coding is instant recognition of a project. Use post it notes in colors that coordinate with each project or dry erase colored markers on a white board to keep your work easy to see.

 

Planning: learning how to manage multiple priorities and work as a team

Workloads are increasing exponentially. How we do keep going with more and more to do?

  • Collaboration with colleagues for a team approach. Your skills may not match the work requirements.  A colleague could help you learn a new skill and become more efficient.
  • Communication with your colleagues with real data on time allocation. Share the time it takes to accomplish a task so that those you work with know this information.
  • Delegation with an assistant can help you do the most important work.  Carefully delegate with small tasks leading to bigger tasks. Provide check points for your collaboration to ensure you are both on the same page.
  • Further planning to ensure your priorities are on track.

The skills of prioritizing, planning and organizing will all help you be more productive each day. In addition, remember to prioritize self-care to maximize your efficiency, your effectiveness and your productivity. It is most important to get a good night’s rest every night. By combining your new skills and priorities you will reap the benefits.

 

 

 

4 Ways to Build Structure and Boost Productivity while Working From Home

 

 

Many of us have transitioned to working from home in the past year.  Working from home affords us benefits like flexibility throughout the day and easier commute. However some of these benefits make being productive more difficult for those with ADHD.  It’s easier to be distracted, schedules are less stable, and colleagues feel more isolated.   In order to be productive, those with ADHD need structure in their day and in their space.

Structure your schedule.

Having a structured day with certain times assigned to work boosts productivity.  Since your work day can expand beyond traditional hours while working from home, begin by limiting your workday. Set hours for you to begin and end work that align with your family. With ADHD you may feel the need to work longer hours because you have not accomplished tasks within traditional hours. Challenge yourself to work within these boundaries and use this time as if a timer were set.  By structuring your schedule you are also prioritizing the time for self-care. Adding self-care to your schedule, such as setting a nightly bedtime, is an added bonus for productivity.

 

Create structure in your work flow.

In an office environment outside your home, the routine of the day creates an external structure that keeps you on track. Create that structure with an beginning of the day, beginning of the work day, end of the work day and end of the day routine. Start the work day with the most important tasks first so you know you can get these done.  By creating routines, you will feel the flow of the day more naturally.

 

Delineate your home office space.

It’s easy to move from space to space in your home, while at work you have an assigned spot. Your home office should be one or multiple assigned places. When you have a structured space, you also have easy access to your resources. Your home remains organized because your resources are not scattered among several places.  Delineate your home office space to create structure for your work.

 

Create connection times throughout the day.

Isolation creeps in when working from home and that keeps you from being productive. There are many ways to connect while not in the office. Create connection times with a zoom coffee break. Begin meetings with time to connect with a two word check-in that describe how you feel before you get down to business. Parallel work with a partner while working on a project by setting a beginning and end work time.  There are many ways to stay connected virtually.

 

Creating structure for your day helps you be more productive as well as prioritize self-care. Take advantage of one of these strategies this week and learn the benefits.

 

Learning, Listening and Embracing Diversity

 

As we celebrate Black History Month. I am listening and learning.  These authors, leaders, allies and advocates give me insights into belonging and inclusion.  As we continue to learn, we are embracing diversity.

 

Black History Month 

Learn more about the origins of this month long celebration.

 

7 Powerful Lessons Learned from Black Authors

Read about diversity and inclusion from seven well known black authors.

 

Black History is for Everyone

Author Daily Lovelace shares ways that we are all acknowledging the rich history of African Americans in our country.

 

PBS Celebrate Black History Month 

PBS shares documentaries and shorts on celebrating Black America.

 

Biography.com

Learn about prominent Black people who play significant roles in America.

 

 

How to Make Decision Making Easier

how to make decision making easier

 

We hear a lot about decision fatigue right now. That is how many decisions we make each day and how we are overwhelmed by these. Make decision making easier with these key concepts. There are many ways to make this simpler and more effective.

 

Opinions matter

Making a decision comes from a variety of perspectives and opinions.  Getting opinions from a few others helps you make a decision easier with their help and thoughts. Encourage feedback especially if it is not in line with your original thoughts. Make sure you don’t overload your options and keep to 3 opinions to expedite your decision.

 

Small chunks and small steps

Big overwhelming decisions can be broken down into small chunks and small steps.  Break down the process into manageable steps that you can tackle over time. As you move forward with each decision, the next decision becomes clearer and clearer. It’s not always necessary to have a decision completely finalized.

 

Prioritize

Prioritize the energy and time for a decision. A breakfast decision is not the same priority level as business decision. Place time and energy where you get the most return for the most importance of the decision.

 

Limit choices

Too many options?  Begin by limiting these choices. The essence of a decision is choices. We avoid decisions when there are many choices.  Limiting choices can include having a rule about how many choices to have as options.

 

Trust your intuition

How are you feeling? What is your gut telling you? What is intuitive? These are the essence of trusting your intuition. That intuition can be your whole reasoning. Intuition affirms the decisions are make.

 

Go with truth and kindness

“Sometimes decisions are hard, not because one choice isn’t clearly better, but because the hard choice is also the right one, says Scott Young. The truth is always the best decision.  When decisions are complicated, often it is because we are avoiding a core value.  Remember we don’t have to like the best decision for it to be the right decision.

 

Virtual Clutter Support Group February 2021 Conquer Your Paper Clutter

virtual clutter support group.

 

Conquer Your Paper Clutter

Virtual Clutter Support Group for Individuals with ADHD

February 2021

 

Paper clutter overwhelms us in many ways. We do not know what to keep, we don’t know how long to keep it and we have so much of it coming into our homes and offices.  In addition, we need to know how to triage it, file it and find it again.

 

Join me in February for Professional-Organizer.com’s Virtual Clutter Support Group for Individuals with ADHD. This fee-based group is the starting point for creating solutions for your paper clutter.

  • The Virtual Clutter Support Group meets for three one-hour weekly sessions to learn paper management skills and get support for organizing your papers.
  • We will meet in a small group setting by logging into Zoom on your device.
  • At each weekly meeting there will be skill building instruction and personal paperwork time. I will share skills and concepts. You will bring your paperwork to edit, declutter and categorize.

 

Meeting Logistics

  • Meetings are held online through Zoom link. You can join from a smart phone, smart device or computer. Simply click on the link to join.
  • Meeting dates are Thursdays February 11, 18 and 25.
  • Meeting times are 7- 8 pm central time.
  • No need to purchase products. I will share recommendations that you may already own or can easily purchase to finalize your paperwork process. There are a variety of options that can work for you.
  • Cost is $75 for the three sessions.
  • Group size is limited. Join today!

Register by February 7, 2021.
For information and to register, call 281.360.3928 or

email edelap@professional-organizer.com

4 organizing tips to accomplish your 2021 health goals

4 organizing tips to accomplish your 2021 health goals

 

Getting healthy and losing weight have forever been the number one new year goal.  This year even more of us have the goal of getting and staying healthy. The uncertainties of life have reminded us that we must focus on what we can control.  Nutrition and exercising are what we can focus on and work together and work together on.  Here are four tips to help you accomplish your 2021 health goals.

 

Be intentional

Intentional is where all change starts.  Since we are more aware than ever the role that health takes in our lives, being intentional about wellness means it keeps a top priority. That motivation starts every morning with positive input with meditation, prayer or podcasts.  The days things go awry are the days you are overtired and unfocused on your plan.

 

Be specific

Every good plan requires specific actions.  Keep it simple with fewer choices and specific ways you are eating and exercising every day. Fewer choices means having the same breakfast each morning rather than choosing between protein bars, egg bites, smoothie, or yogurt with fruit.  Keep exercise simple with walking 5 to 10k steps which can be clocked on your fitbit or apple watch. A specific number keeps you set on your goals.  One friend tracks the number of days she has walked 10k steps to keep motivated not to “break the chain.”

 

Be organized

Every goal that is a priority must have a time to accomplish this goal. Wellness starts with this time allocation.  Set time on a specific day at a specific time for meal planning, grocery shopping and meal prep.  Plan on protein snacks so that you are preparing for unhealthy obstacles.  What time will you walk or exercise?  That is an additional block of time. Time to reset and unwind are valuable time slots for you, which includes setting the same wake and slumber time each day.  With these realistic time blocks, you are assured of success.

 

Build a team

We are all in this together now with health and wellness. As we are on this journey, gather and support a team of those who are like-minded.  Teams are the best way to assure you keep on track and are accountable to your goals.  This year I have embarked on a new health journey to use intermittent fasting with intention.  I have several friends who are on my team to support this effort.  It’s also fun to compare notes on our successes.

 

21 Self – Care Routines for 2021

Each year I share routines that make life easier.  Routines are a foundation for time management, efficiency and productivity.  With that in mind, routines are top strategies to making time for what is most important.  These small steps also make it easy to concentrate on what is a top priority.

Why self-care?

Self-care is vital for our mental and physicial well being. Often routines are often the most difficult tasks to manage for those with ADHD.  And those with ADHD also struggle with self-care.  This year I wanted to start by reminding everyone about the little tricks that make life better.

What is self-care?

By definition, “Self-care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health,” according to PsychCentral. These are routines that are intentional to help with mind, body and spirit rejuvenation.  This list of 21 routines will help you feel more in control of what is certain right now. As well, as you get started you will feel less anxious and more hopeful.

1. Get to bed at the same time each evening and get up at the same time each day to get your best rest.

2. Drink 2 glasses of water each morning to start hydrating.

3. Curate your news and social media to spend learning and not stressing.

4. Curate your friends and keep only the positive, empowering, supportive people as part of your tribe.

5. Curate your thoughts each morning with a personal mantra that speaks to your strengths and your successes.

6. Take time outside for a walk or 5 minute stroll for mental clarity.

7. Set a time to see your doctor and meet with questions prepared about your selfness.

8. You or a family member empty the sink of dishes each morning and evening.

9. Meal plan each week. Dinner together makes for happy families.

10. Do a tiny laundry load daily or 3 times a week.

11. Reset your home each Sunday in preparation for your week.

12. Host a family meeting each week for family communication and collaboration.

13. Tidy your room daily.

14. Keep a glass of water with lemon in it all the time.

15. Connect with your spirituality once a week.

16. Connect with a friend once a week.

17.Start each meeting with a personal & professional check in.

18. Give back by volunteering to help others.

19. Give back with donations to local charities.

20. Set a pause daily to reflect on gratitude.

21. Keep your calendar easy to see and easy to read.

Routines are difficult to maintain.  If you are at a loss, start with the first routine. That is a powerful self care routine that can make every day better.  If you want to start small, choose just one routine, practice it and let it sink in for you. If you have good routines already, perhaps one of these will add to your already good self care. Building routines are worth the effort to make life easier.

Rules for Life 2021

 

2021 simple rules for simple living

 

I have been inspired this year with many ways to be positive and resilient.  Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper has a Sunday To Be list each week that is a synopsis of a person’s goals.  Tim Denning recently wrote a his Overly Simple Rules for a Good Life focusing on rules. His new mantra included “Rules provide constraints in your life. Constraints help you focus. Focus provides clarity. Clarity helps you take badass actions.”

 

Entering 2021, I wanted to create some life guidelines aka rules that help me be my best and make a difference for others.

 

Keep it Simple Sweetie

I have to start here. Life is getting more complicated so I want to have a rule that helps me keep focused on simplicity. When life is simple, we enjoy our time with others and live life to the fullest.

 

Talk less, smile more

These words from Hamilton resonate with me.  I love to learn about the back story, what motivates others and who supports who.  That is when can connect in the most rewarding and authentic manner.

 

Curate incoming information

We have a lot information coming from a lot of sources.  We must review and process the quantity and quality of this information. Know what are your trusted sources and who you can rely on for truth.

 

Limit decisions

I like to keep it to only three choices.  I apply that to every decision, whether it’s paint color or breakfast.  Having fewer choices keeps us from being overwhelmed.

 

Plan and pause

Strategic planning, weekly planning and a daily task list keep me organized.  Adding a time to pause weekly also keeps me organized. This pause happens every Sunday when I take time to reset and rejuvenate.  Life is a balance of moving and stopping that keeps us organized and productive.

 

Family first

Knowing my family comes first makes it easy for me to prioritize.  Each decision is run through this filter of why I do what I do.  Having this priority makes it easy for me to make decisions, as well as plan my week.

 

I encourage you as the new year is about to begin to write your list of rules.  It is your way of affirming who you are, what’s important to you and shaping your every day.

In Honor of Get Organized and Be Productive Month 2021 “How do I start getting organized?”

 

 

January is National Get Organized Month. A new year energizes us to edit, refresh and pare down our homes.  Getting organized is always one of the top 3 new year goals.

 

Of all the questions that I am asked about organizing, the most common one is “how do I get started?”  With all our good intentions, and possibly more time because of COVID-19, it is common to have paralysis or procrastinate. Organizing can be overwhelming and difficult to get started because we don’t know where to or how to get started. Here are three recommendations to jump start your organizing this month.

 

Make it easy

Declutter as you go to make it easy to organize. Use a shopping bag to drop unwanted items into every day. Drop the bag off each week at a local philanthropy’s thrift shop. You are doubling up with decluttering and doing good work.

 

Set a date and a time to organize

Make an appointment with yourself and set a date to organize. It’s like all other appointments. Writing this date in your calendar makes you commit to getting started. Choose a time that is good with respect to low distractions and high energy level. Plan on multiple 2 hour sessions to work rather than an entire day or an entire weekend. If you still feel overwhelmed, plan on starting with just 15 minutes. In 15 minutes, you can clear your closet floor, shred papers from file folders and declutter a toy chest.

 

Get support for your efforts

Support is critical to getting started with an organizing project.  According to research, a major reason for not getting organized is not asking for help.  Teamwork makes it easier whenever you start any project. Look around for support with a “clutter buddy,” a friend who cheers you on and supports you making decisions.  Working as a team makes it easier to reach your goal. You can find support in a professional organizer, coach, or therapist who help you define new perspectives, create a plan and help you follow through with your work.

 

Have a compelling reason

Company coming is one of the most compelling reasons to get organized. However, there are many compelling situations that can motivate us. With the unexpected circumstances of the last three years, many of us are making a personal decision to live life through experiences not stuff. We want less to take care of at home to be able to enjoy and live life more fully. Having a personal, specific reason to get organized gets you started. Your compelling reason could be emotional well-being and less stress which are powerful starting points for you.

 

Make your intention a reality this year by taking the first steps in starting your organizing projects. Your sense of well-being will be the biggest benefit.

 

How My Word of the Year Made a Difference 2020 Expand

 

Every year I focus on my Word of the Year. This year my word is Expand.  I never know what is to come each year as my word of the year guides me. When I feel offtrack, I refer back to my word to guide me and be a point of reference in what I want to accomplish. In 2020 I was thinking about “expand” specifically in my professional niche, that being to serve more of those with adhd and learn more about adhd.

I learned so much more.

You never know where you will expand and what new thoughts, places and people will be a part of this growth.  I am grateful for these ways I have expanded personally and professionally.

Personally

  • My time with family expanded more than I could imagine. At the outset of COVID, we created our quaranteam.  We were quarantining as a family to keep safe and support each other.  This expanded to our Walking Club. Each morning family would gather to walk and talk. We processed our thoughts about everything. This cocoon helped us especially in the early months of the pandemic.
  • My focus on health expanded. Health has been a high priority.  With COVID I was able to add time to walk daily.  Its remarkable the mental health benefits as a result. If you want to be a positive person, walk daily. Being in nature helps us set and remember priorities, keeps us keep in mind all the little things around us and brings out the best in us.
  • Being married for 37 years, we have always had date nights. This year confirmed that I am truly married to my best friend. We have spent more time together this year and I am forever grateful.

Professionally

  • I expanded my virtual organizing and coaching practice in working with clients with adhd throughout the country. I was able to share my love of organizing and productivity with zoom conference presentations. I was a partner and a witness to amazing transformations in family’s homes and lives.
  • Time during quarantine offered me the opportunity to further my education. I virtually attended hundreds of hours of education and earned two specialist certificates.  I listened to countless podcasts to learn from experts as they shared information on adhd, organizing, productivity and leadership.  It has broadened who I am and what I think.
  • My love of connections led to expand into a new mastermind group. These 6 women support each other and those in our industry.  In meeting weekly we have partnered with each other through this uncertain time offering ideas in so many ways.

 

When I thought of ways to expand as I entered 2020, I thought of diving deeper into my professional niche of working with clients with adhd.  Here is what happened in addition. Joy, love, connection, professional fulfullment, education and a strong sense of being where I belong despite uncertainty.