Innovative Improvements to your Home Office

innovative office

 

The home office has come full circle as being a prominent part of where we live, work and play.  With an increase in telecommuting, the home office is a valuable piece of real estate.  There’s basic set up of your home office.  Make the most of your home office with these innovative home office ideas.

 

Standing Desk

The standing desk is a new piece of office furniture.  Sitting for long periods of time have health consequences.  With a standing desk that’s adjustable,  you have the option of movement during the day.  This innovation for some of us means we think clearer and have improved productivity.  How to choose what desk? Thanks to Reviews.com, there’s great options to consider. A smaller foot print desk will also give you more space, less clutter on your work surface and more organization.

 

Going wireless or less wires

We all hate all those wires and cords.  It’s unattractive and unsafe.  There are more options for wireless now for printing, scanning and cloud based document storage.  Set up can be DIY or with an expert.  Going wireless is affordable with the right tools.

 

Collaboration tools

Our work together is fundamental and  instrumental.  Collaboration tools are what we need to work together on projects.  Our online tools makes it easier to work together and get our work done.  Tools like Trello with boards, lists, and cards help you organize and prioritize projects in a fun and visual way. It’s not a problem not being in the same space with Join.me where you can share screens.  FreeConferenceCall.com gives you free phone time together.  Check out these easy to access tools.

 

These innovations make your office more functional and more efficient.  Making your space easy to use and easy to collaborate create a productive environment.

 

 

 

 

 

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Organizing: Streamlining or Unearthing Treasures

 

organizing streamlining or unearthing treasures

 

What’s organizing REALLY about?  Working together with my clients I see two different ways we work.  I also see the goals of our work in two different ways as well.  Organizing while both strategies accomplish what my clients want, each process differs slightly.  Here is my concept of organizing as letting go and organizing as unearthing treasures.

 

Organizing is streamlining and letting go.

You are overwhelmed with stuff.   Your goal is to have less, organize it and then keep your space maintained.  The first step  in your organizing project is to review what you have.  Then you assess it’s value. Do you use it or love it?  If neither applies, it’s time to eliminate this item.  As Marie Kondo says, “To truly cherish the things that are important to you, you must first discard those that have outlived their purpose.” Working on having less is often the most motivating reason to get organized.

 

Organizing is unearthing treasures.

Your stuff is overwhelming you, but just culling out is not enough.  Your goal is to keep what’s most valuable to you.  Organizing can also be about finding and unearthing treasures. You can take the “treasure hunt” perspective where you sift through items to find what is most valuable to keep.  In choosing what’s most valuable, only you can be the judge.  It may be a long lost trinket or a check.  Organizing can be unearthing items that have been buried in what’s not important.

 

 

unearthing treasures

We found this treasure while working together! What treasures have you found while organizing?

 

When you unearth treasures, whether it’s financial or sentimental, you find real value in organizing.

 

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Spring into Organizing

spring organizing

 

 

It’s not been a long winter, but we are already hearing robins chirping, the sun rising earlier and the sensing feeling of change.  It’s also the time we feel ready to tackle organizing in our space.  It’s time to spring forward into organizing.

 

There’s a few important spaces that need attention.  These spaces require a fresh start with a new perspective.  Organizing your office space, laundry room, landing spot and linens help you get a fresh start for spring.

 

Office space

Your office may have become the dumping ground for anything and everything.

  • Get this space back to functioning with a mass purge of papers.  Check out what to keep and for how long and get down to shredding.  Now you know what to keep when papers come in. Keep filing simple with broad categories or just the box for the year.  Simple filing makes it easier to file and takes less time.
  • Reset this space by moving items back to where they belong.  Often offices have lots of bags and boxes that simply need to be redistributed.
  • Recycle your dead technology.  Check on Earth.911 to know where and how to recycle items.

 

Laundry room

Have an overload of clothes taken over your laundry room? Is it impossible to enter?  Get a fresh start in this space.

  • If your laundry room is really your closet, it’s time to move items back.
  • Set up a system with baskets, laundry sorter or other product that helps you start and finish one load at a time.
  • Less clothes make laundry easier. Eliminate clothes in your closet you are not feeling joy and make space for what makes you feel fabulous.  Organizing your closet is a gift to yourself!

 

Landing spot

Winters gone and so should your heavy coats!  It’s time to get the landing spot ready for spring.

  • Go through coats, sweaters and boots to see if these are ready to be donated and bless others.
  • Add a basket for flipflops and other summer shoes that gather in this area.
  • Add hooks for swim and other summer season bags.

 

Spring linens

Give yourself an extra gift with sorting through the linen closet.  Often we have many seasons of linens.

  • Are there stained and torn towels or sheets that can be donated?  How many sheet sets or comforters do you need?  These are sold as rags at thrift stores and used for animal shelters.
  • Is your linen closet in disarray? Just a little decluttering and straightening can help.
  • Need a fresh perk in your bedroom?  Purchase new linens and let go of your existing linens.

 

Choose one of these a week to spring into your organizing this year!

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Hugs and Happy Organizing: Office Organizing

Hugs and happy organizing are client success stories.  Here’s a story about a client’s office.
Home offices are cluttered!  These spaces are jammed paper, office supplies, books and more.  Why not add more vertical storage to create more order.
  • Each different category of paper needs a “slot.”  Create a slot with a basket labelled for each  type of paper.   These categories can include taxes, small business, utilities, instruction books and other papers.
  • Create more space by going up!  With these additional bookcases, there is a basket for each type of paper.
  • Keep your desk clear by having a slot for unprocessed, unopened or to be reviewed papers.
  • Keep papers in notebooks or magazine sorters so these can be orderly.
  • Editor’s note: Our work together was done virtually!

 

Check out more Hugs and Happy Organizing stories here.

5 Tips for ADHD Productivity

5 Tips for ADHD Productivity

 

 

Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort. ~~Paul J. Meyer

Trouble getting started or knowing when to finish up? Easily distracted while working? Easy to do the short term projects but long term projects don’t get started? All these challenges can be part of ADHD. Planning or focus may not be the greatest strength for ADHD, however there are ways to be more productive at work and home.

 

 

Tracking and Reminders

Start with trusted tools to be productive. Use a planner that works with your strengths, whether that’s a paper planner or a digital tool. If you are highly visual, a paper planner is most helpful. If you love technology, a digital planner makes a difference. Track all dates and deadlines for both home and work. Add in reminders that are both visual (dry erase board on the wall or large sticky notes) and auditory (alarms or timer) to help you stay on track. These reminders can be to help you know where you start, where you were interrupted or what is most important to tackle that day. A kitchen timer, Any.do app, or the reminder app on your phone can be ways to stay on track. A single notebook keeps all your tasks together in a single place to find these. Track your 5 most important tasks and check them off at the end of the day. Simple tracking and reminders consolidate this information.

 

Chunk your day and your projects

Long term projects can get lost in the shuffle. A long day without structure can be unproductive. Break your day and your projects into manageable pieces either one hour in time slots or smaller sections of the project. Smaller sections can be just one step forward in a project or several small steps that coordinate together. Structuring your day into parts keeps you from being overwhelmed and less efficient. A typical day can include a morning, early afternoon and late afternoon time frame for work periods. Add in your morning and evening routines at home and you are set up for success.

 

 

Partnerships

Collaboration is the key to success. Working with a partner adds interest and accountability. The interaction and engagement with a partner brings energy to every project. Choose a partner who has different skills and abilities to bring about productivity. Your partner can keep you on track with weekly or bi-weekly deadlines to finish a project on time. The most positive partnerships engage and empower you in your work.

 

Coordination

The most effective plans and projects include meetings for accountability and a time line. Just like when we invite company over, we are faced with an imminent deadline. With deadlines, you will complete tasks and projects timely by that extra surge of energy. Coordination brings this all into being.

 

 

Work from your strengths

Your strengths could be creativity, tech savviness, working well with others, and any number of skills and abilities. If you are unsure of your strengths, ask a colleague to reflect these back to you. Create a plan that includes these strengths. Use your strengths by choosing work aligned with these and not dwelling in negativity. Find ways to bring out your strengths in your work as well by choosing parts of the project that engage your strengths.

Get started today! You may be flip flopping between multiple planners. Just choose one and use it for 2 months and assess. It can be difficult to approach your colleagues to get started collaborating and coordinating. However, this difficult step can lead to a rewarding effort that is well worth the effort. Reach out today to start your most productive year ever.

 

Check out more tips on ADHD here on Ellen’s Blog ADD!

 

Hugs and happy organizing Office Organizing

office organizing

 

Hugs and happy organizing are client success stories.  Here’s a story about a client’s office.

 

Office desks become overwhelming with scraps, notes, and more. It’s hard to find the time to organize at work. Why organize when every day is chaotic?

 

There are simple steps to organize your office space.   Refresh your desk every evening and do a major overhaul monthly to keep productive in this space.

 

  • Decide what’s most important and what you use daily. These tools are the only items that remain on the desk top.
  • Set up a command center for actionable tasks and current projects.
  • Decide on what works best for you for a task list and consolidate all  your post it notes there.
  • Establish a reference area in a desk drawer or corner of your desk.  Keep what you refer to often in a notebook with inserts on the desk or a hanging file in your drawer.
  • Take home extra items that belong at home, such as extra pairs of shoes, books or personal items.
  • Keep a drawer with personal items such as lotion, snacks or hand sanitizer.

 

Check out these small biz ideas!

Happy Fall Y’All! 5 Tips for Fall Organizing

5 tips for fall organizing

 

Sad to see summer go?  Tired of the heat? Happy for the change of seasons? Looking forward to that first fall day? It’s that transition time, mostly known as Indian Summer, where we welcome fall.   Take advantage of this transition time by organizing at your home and office.  It’s time for fall organizing!

 

  • It’s time to start and end activities.  Put away your summer swim bag, the sunscreen and goggles.  Create a bag or notebook for kids’ school papers or new responsibilities like homeroom mom.   Right away you will have a spot for all those papers.

 

  • Freshen up your clothes.  Look through your closet and let go of clothes you did not wear this season.  Put them in a shopping bag and immediately drop these off at a donation location. Do the same for your kids clothes and get their drawers  in great shape for school time.   Everyone will be happier and less stressed getting ready in the morning.

 

  • Host your family meeting and go over family responsibilities at home. Perhaps chores got lax this summer or everyone wants to shift chores.  Take 15 minutes to write out your chore chart and place it where everyone sees it each day.  Include homework time in your chore chart daily.  Plan some end of summer fun and check in about upcoming Halloween plans for your family.

 

  • Set aside an hour to freshen up your office.  It takes just a few focused minutes to eliminate all the extra paper and other stuff that has accumulated this summer.  It could be shoes to take home, resources you no longer need or books to return to colleagues.  Taking just an hour to refresh your space helps you be more efficient and effective at your desk.

 

  • Think through your daily routines at home and work.   Start a new strategy for handling the biggest time takers, such as email and paper management.   Decide on a pattern for when and how long you will get these tasks done daily.  Getting a fresh perspective and a great routine helps you get these tasks done more easily.

 

The change of seasons helps us take advantage of refreshing our spaces.  It energizes our organizing!

 

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Plow Through Paper after Vacation

organize paper after vacation

 

 

You’ve just returned from a vacation, feeling relaxed and looking tanned, only to find a colossal pile of mail and other papers waiting for you at work. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the volume of paper when you return. Even when you are not on vacation, 57% of workers in a recent survey by Neat reported frustration with paper and believed there are better paper management tools. What’s the best way to deal with paper after you return from a vacation?

Get a plan.

The best start requires planning and prioritizing. Before heading on vacation, let your team at work know and encourage them to send emails after your return. When you return, get a good night’s rest and head to the office a little earlier than usual. Your head start means you are working before others arrive and interruptions begin. Make a list of all your outstanding and upcoming tasks. Then prioritize what is immediately important and what can wait until the end of the week. Getting clarity is the best first step.

 

Automate when possible.

There are many ways to automate your work. Set up your auto-responder before you leave to share your absence. Set up a new message for the week of your return to indicate you are back at work, slogging through paper (and email) and will not be available for meetings until later in the week. Arrange for auto pay for bills before you leave so payments are made in a timely fashion.

 

Plow through your papers.
Triage the important and urgent papers, brutally discarding others. It’s not time for the “maybe, should and what if” papers. Categorize the remaining papers into groups of Action, Pay, Scan and File and place these in your Command Center, your tool for organizing actionable papers. Create a task list for actionable items in addition. Your list will help you stay on top of projects and help you focus.

 

Scan and digitize paper from your trip.
Often on vacation we take journals and business related reading materials. We gather business cards from contacts and possibly have receipts for tax purposes. After the trip, consolidate the information, amazing brainstorming notes you had, and other scraps of paper in your Scan folder. Using your Neat Connect or Neat mobile, (sponsored post) scan these items in later in the week. Creating a digital version of these articles and papers will make these easier to file and easier to find with searchable PDF files. Scan in receipts to keep track of your expenses while on vacation and budget for your next trip.

As hard as it is to return to work, having a paper plan can help. It’s never easy to get back to routines and deadlines, but having less paper makes work life better.

 

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3 Steps to Organize Your Desk

 

organize your desk

Whether it is your home office, your small business office or your corporate office, getting down to business at your desk is a chore if it is piled with papers!  You need both a plan for what goes where on your desk and what to do with all those papers.   A plan for your desk will save you time finding papers. The more organized your desk is, the more confident you are  and the more professional you are perceived.

 

Follow these three steps to organize your desk and create an efficient and productive work area.

1. Planning your space
As you begin, determine what tasks you are doing in your office and the tools needed for these tasks. By making these decisions at the outset, you are preparing your space for accomplishment. Most of us want to pay bills, write a card, and keep important papers easy to access.  Create areas designating the best access for most frequent activities. As for room arrangement, place your desk in a position that allows maximum use of natural light. Position the desk in a direct ion that allows for direct viewing of all who enter without you having to turn.  Add additional space to your desk area with an L shape or credenza behind your desk for storing items you need to access.   Adding this space creates work space, compute space, and printer space.

 

2. Organizing your desk

Your desk top should be an inviting space.  Keep out only basic tools that you use every day. Minimize your photo gallery and knick knacks.  Desk drawers should have only what you use at the desk in them. Store your additional office supplies in another area. Keep specific categories of items individually stored in different drawers. One drawer should contain bill paying tools such as checks, stamps and envelopes.  One drawer should focus on writing a note and should include stationary and note pads.  One drawer should hold supplies with a pencil tray holding pencils, pens, tape, stapler and scissors. Again, keep just enough to use and do not over stuff the drawers. Place books on book shelves and magazines or reading material in a basket to grab and go. Be sure that your telephone, computer and other essentials are placed ergonomically.  Your calendar should have a specific spot so you can see it all the time.

3. Organizing your papers
Think about paper in terms of what you need to do with them.  Some papers require an action and some papes need storage to be retrieved.

Create your command center for “Action” files. Label them according to what actions or terms fit best with your needs. These files can be call, file, mail, or pay. Or these can be named by client name, project name, or other key word that comes to mind quickly. Clearly label your files so you will always know what is in them, and just as importantly, the labels will remind you what not to put in them.  At the end of every day, there should be a spot to put away the files you have used that day. The files in your command center  are the most actionable.  Your command center can be a desktop sorter or a section on your wall.

Less frequently accessed files can be placed in your file drawer in your desk or an accessible cart. These can be references, projects that are completed this year, or general files for running your business.  As for filing cabinets, use a low-lying, two-drawer cabinet that can be placed next to or near your desk for the added use of its top for other items that you often need.  This is what makes an L for your extra desk space.  Having easy to access files makes it more likely for you to file.

Have a spot for incoming mail and other papers.  It can be a wall pocket, basket or inbox.  Having this space set aside will give  you a place to drop all papers before you have time to review them. Alert your family or colleagues to drop papers in this spot to keep your desk clear.

 

Go Paperless

Set up a Neat connect (affiliate) to eliminate scraps of paper like business cards, tax related receipts and meeting notes. It’s an efficient way to access small bit of information easily. No more hunting for notes or trying to find a phone number for a potential client.

 

 

 

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Organized and Stylish! Cute counts with this File Tote Organizer for Paper

Disclosure: I am an affiliate for many of the products and services that I recommend. When you click on the link on my site and purchase  the product or service being offered I will receive a percentage of that purchase, at no extra cost to you. If you don’t feel comfortable doing that, please go directly to the site of the product.

Office Candy sunrise key file folder sunrise key file tote organizer

 

Staying organized and stylish is easy with this cute  File Tote  for paper from OfficeCandy.   Cute counts when getting organized! My philosophy about organizing includes creating a system for what goes where and a routine for when to do the organizing.   A cute organizer can make dull, tedious paper work a lot more fun and easy to accomplish.  Paper organizing can be especially overwhelming without the right system and routine.  Having a great product with slots for your paper categories can make all the difference.  When you are on the go, attending meetings, working as a volunteer, or just want a system that can move to a work space, having a tote works well.

 

Why I love the Sunrise Key File Tote Organizer:

  • It stands freely for easy sorting and filing.
  • It opens to have 8 tabs and 10 pockets for categories, like an accordion file.
  • It can be labelled inside the accordion file keeping categories easy to find.
  • It coordinates with other sunrise office supplies, File Folders and Padfolio Clipboard.

Where to find this item?  View it and related products at  File Totes at Office Candy

 

What will you organize in your file tote?