Delegating at the office

Strategic productivity is “doing what you do best and delegate the rest.”   There are so many reasons why people don’t delegate!


The list includes:

1.      Control freaks

2.      Don’t want people to see their faults

3.      Not organized enough to take the time to figure out what needs to be done until right on top of the deadline.

4.      Cost Money

5.      They don’t have the right partnership in place so they just do it themselves

6.      Takes Time… too difficult to explain

7.      Had a bad experience so figure it will never work

8.      Too far behind.. if I get caught up then I will teach person X

9.      Don’t empower people enough once they delegate the task… see number 1-which causes conflict

10.  Have difficulty communicating with others


Once you successfully delegate you will not want to do the task again. You will be empowered by the team work you are a part of, you will be more successful at what you do, and your income will increase most importantly! 


How do you get started delegating?

  • Delegate whole pieces or entire job pieces or simply tasks and activities.  
  • Define limits of authority
    • Spending limits
    • Level of decision making for “major” aspects
  • Clearly define what outcome is needed, then let individuals use some creative thinking of their own as to how to get to that outcome.
  • Clear standards of performance will help the person know when he or she is doing exactly what is expected.  
  • Determine communication model and tools
    • Spreadsheet for tasks, google calendar
    • Weekly and daily updates to tasks
    • Weekly and daily meetings


Successful delegating requires a change of your mindset.  Begin by building delegating into all of your plans.  Start breaking down administrative, marketing and other tasks into lists and specifically identify whether you or an assistant will handle a particular matter. 

Putting off Procrastination offered at the Organizing Telesummit

Is getting organized your top new year resolution? Here is the easiest way ever to get started! 

Offered under the leadership of my colleague Allison Carter, there is a wide array of classes offered by the top professionals in our field.


Join us for this amazing event!


Your’s truly is partnering to present information on procrastination!  Did you know?

·          The desk of the average white collar worker holds 36 hours of uncompleted work. That desk’s occupant spends 3  hours per week sorting piles to find and organize the project/s being worked upon. (From The Overload Syndrome, by Richard Swenson)

·         The average executive wastes 150 hours each year looking for misplaced documents. (2003 study by Office World News)

·         The average amount of time executives spend in (mostly needless) meetings each week: 7.8 hours. (Survey by Accountemps)

·         The Wall Street Journal reports the average office worker spends 49 minutes a day emailing, while top management spends about four hours a day sending, receiving and reading email.


Ellen Delap and Leslie McKee are both Certified Professional Organizers® and Family Manager Coaches. Together they will address the challenges and causes of procrastination and how to overcome it. Remember, procrastination is a habit not a flaw and Leslie and Ellen will teach you will address the challenges and causes of procrastination and how to overcome it. So if you are putting something off that is getting in your way join their call and be on your way to a more productive 2010!


Link to all the classes:

Jan 25-29, 2010

It’s an organizing fiesta!

Learn from the comfort of your own couch.

Strategies for getting organized and for professional organizers


PS Dont procrastinate on this offer! Use the code word clutter for 10% off!


Putting off Procrastination Class on Jan 27th

Celebrate National Get Organized Month with a week of great organizing classes!  This budget-friendly seminar series is for all levels of organized and disorganized.  Check out more at

Putting Off Procrastination
with Ellen Delap, CPO and Certified Family Manager Coach, and Leslie McKee, CPO and Certified Family Manager Coach

For those who want to get organized
For Professional Organizers

Ellen Delap and Leslie McKee are both Certified Professional Organizers® and Family Manager Coaches. Together they will address the challenges and causes of procrastination and how to overcome it. Remember, procrastination is a habit not a flaw and Leslie and Ellen will teach you will address the challenges and causes of procrastination and how to overcome it. So if you are putting something off that is getting in your way join their call and be on your way to a more productive 2010!

Remember, procrastination is a habit not a flaw and Leslie and Ellen will teach you to

·     Recognize the challenges of procrastination

·     Learn strategies to overcome procrastination

·     Create new habits you can maintain

·     Design an action plan for one task you are putting off


Register at Don’t procrastinate! Register today!

Change Happens!

Working with my clients, I know that change happens!  Here is how I know!

  • I recently recieved the first card of the holiday season from a former client. Of course her goal was to be the first card in my mailbox!
  • A client, on her own, decluttered her closet and took the items to Goodwill.  She started and completed the job!
  • My client says it now takes her 15 minutes to pay her bills and file her statements.
  • A student writes in his planner each and every day, checks it regularly and makes the grades he deserves.
  • A client realized she had all her things in too many places.  Now she is consolidating them, at home and at the office.

How do you know when change happens in your life? Accomplishing goals makes you not only feel successful! You also create confidence, build new habits and routines, and make a difference in your life. 

Entering a new year, reflect on your goals and what will be most important to you.  How does change happen for you?

Email Overload

email overload

Overwhelmed by email? Experiencing email overload? Who isn’t? Basex Research recently estimated that businesses lose $650 billion annually in productivity due to unnecessary e-mail interruptions. According to Ross Mayfield of, the average number of corporate e-mails sent and received per person per day is expected to reach over 228 by 2010.  Defining your email style with systems and routines makes all the difference.


  •  A good spam filter is a must. Anti spam technology is available at a reasonable cost so be sure you are all set. Remember to review the “spam” email just in case the filter has removed mail that you need. You can redirect this into the inbox with minor adjustment. Do not open emails, reply back or “unsubscribe” to junk email as this could place you on more spam email lists. It is best to delete all of these at the beginning of y our email session.  Be sure your virus protection is up to date as well. 


  •  Eliminate as many email lists as you can. This is just like stopping subscriptions to magazines you don’t have time to read!  Be sure you are subscribing ONLY to necessary information, not the “just in case” information.   If you are receiving jokes or chain messages from friends, kindly remind them you are not interested.   If you must include email newsletters, move these into a “read” folder.   Add an additional email address for just shopping and coupons.  This way they are separate and not clogging your inbox.


  • Decide the function of your email inbox.  An inbox is not for filing, it is for active use.  If your inbox is cluttered, it is often because of indecision.  Because email floods in like a tsunami, be decisive on your email processing.  Being committed to using your inbox as a temporary home for action items, it is easier to work with the clutter there. 


  • Create a subfolder named “Processed” or “Done” to eliminate delaying email filing.  Often “filing” your email is put off because it is more complicated than your needs. When you need information in this subfolder, it can be sorted by arranging the subject line or sender to find it. 


  • Limit the times you check your email.  Schedule two or three consistent time periods each day to go through your email inbox. Turn off your audio alarm so that incoming email is not a distraction. Plan to spend an hour at that time answering your email and truly focusing on this task.  The first hour of work can be most productive by focusing on a major project and by checking your email the second hour. You will find increased productivity and a sense of accomplishment by conquering a task first thing in the day?


  • Email is best used for short messages with direct subject lines.  Need to explain a lengthy topic? Using the phone can make a difference.  


  • Organize your email with tech tools.   With, your subscriptions are organized into a list for you to read but not interfere with your work. Using Mailstrom you can group related mail and act on it as a group.  If you use gmail, there’s Boomerang to help you respond to email.  Check out one of these tech tools to get through your email overload.


What are your secrets to email success?

Success Snowball

My clients and I partner in their productivity.  Each time we create a trigger to get things done, it becomes a small part of the process of success.  It begins with a basic system and routine that really works for them. 

  • When someone is stuck, the first step is identifying what is getting them stuck. Being stuck is partly procrastination from fear, worry, lacking a vision, being overwhelmed or lacking a skill. Finding a partner that will help them once this is identified is crucial.  The partner will bring energy, skill and accountability to the process. 
  • Add in creating an environment that will increase effectiveness. Do you work best at home or away? Do you need a minimalist environment? Music? Get to the core of what your environment includes and add routine to it. 
  • Work in high energy times consistently.  Working consistently enough leads to great habits that are compelling. 
  • Now think of your self care. Are you getting enough rest? Do you eat nutritiously? Be sure to munch on an apple or banana and lean protein regularly throughout the day.
  • The success snowball has started.  The idea that as you add more and more success, it grows bigger and bigger, just like a snow ball in your yard or rolling down hill.  The conclusion of a success snowball?  A completed project is only a small part of it!  Your outstanding feeling of confidence!

This is dedicated to my incredible clients who have shared this experience with me.  What is your success snowball? Please share!

ADD and Getting Things Done

My clients with ADD are a blessing to me! They are the brightest, most creative and most fun people on the planet!  The gift of ADD is the natural flow of ideas, thoughts and scenarios generated by prolific thinking.  ADD people continually come up with new ideas that lead to solving problems, engaging people with new concepts, and starting new projects.   Working from these strengths is important for people with ADD.  However, when tasks are tedious, mundane and repetitive, it becomes a challenge.  People with ADD become disengaged and bored, unable to complete these tasks.  When the possibilities are endless and exuberant, people with ADD are at their best.


To catch and prioritize information is important for productivity for people with ADD.  In tackling this first step of containing information, there are an array of options such as low tech post it notes, spiral notebooks, the planner pad (, Levenger CIRCA notebooks (, and technology such as  Establishing your personal system and working it are important.   Keep practicing with your system for a minimum of 21 days for your system to become a habit. 


Once captured, prioritizing what is critical to success is important.  Making decisions can be one of the biggest challenges facing a person with ADD. First the decision is what is important and what is not.  Keeping everything on the list is a way of not deciding.  Decisions can be formulated by simple and consistent rules that synchronize with personal goals and mission.  With prioritizing as the key, it is important to go beyond making lists.  A list can start out as a “brain dump” and then it can be refined. After making the list, create a short, 3 task Most Important Things list.  This leads to accomplishment, working toward a goal and feel productive for the day.  If it is exceedingly difficult to define tasks, enlist the help of an accountability partner or coach to keep on track and be authentic in aligning your goals and tasks. 

Paper partner or clutter buddy

Organizing can be a lonely, isolated job. Working by yourself, you may not be motivated, make decisions or even get started. Many times my clients voice that they just don’t work well alone.  I love the idea of a clutter buddy or paper partner because organizing happens this way! A clutter buddy is a trusted, non – judgmental buddy who is there while you are organizing your stuff. A paper partner does this job while sifting through the paper piles.    These are people who offer no opinion but may offer options, who do not cloud your decision but help you reflect, and who are there to help you focus on the task at hand.  

Finding a partner is the antidote to procrastination.   First identify what is getting you stuck. Is it being overwhelmed and need someone to externally process with? Is it a skill set and you need someone who thoroughly knows this skill? Is it an enthusiastic affirmer who keeps you on task?  It is powerful to know what you need and find the partner that helps you power through the rough spots!

Partnering can take many different forms.   One way is to use your cell phone to chat with a friend while doing a task.  Whether it is sorting paper or emptying the dishwasher, this can get the task accomplished.  Another way is being together in a new space.  Coming together for coffee, both partners might bring their paperwork to simultaneously write bills.  Organizing can get done and then it is sharing what organizing jobs you accomplished each day or week.  

What are your creative ways to partner?  Who is your clutter buddy?