I walked into my office one Monday morning and realized I was staring at piles on top of piles — all over my office. They were on my desk, on the floor by my desk, even my snack cart had collected them. And this happened despite the fact that I’m actually a total minimalist at heart.
The problem is that I got busy— really busy. I would get an info packet, a book, a magazine or a letter that I wanted to look into but just didn’t have the time. Well, they kept coming and I kept being short on time until, before long, the piles had taken over my office and scattered pieces of information were taking up 90% of my brainpower. There were too many tabs open…Literally. On my computer, in my brain, and sitting in stacks across my office.
If you can relate at all, here are a few ideas to help simplify your work life. I’ve been using them for a while with great success.
1. Clear Your Desktop!
That’s right, I mean close out of all other applications (especially your email and the internet), so that you only have ONE project on your screen at a time. When clicking all screens it should not appear to be a connect the dots game! Close everything else out and watch how it helps your mind do the same thing and stay focused. Multi tasking is not always a good thing! In fact, only 3% of the population is actually good at multi-tasking. The rest of us think we are, but we’re actually slowing down are productivity.
Take one project at a time, open it, work at it, and close it. Then move on to the next! It’s actually incredibly freeing. I also suggest not checking any social media during designated project time! Every time I check an email while I’m working, there is inevitably a link. The link wants to be clicked and who am I to hurt it’s feelings? But it always leads to more links and by the time I get back to work, an hour (or more) has passed.
I use the desktop organizer to keep my desktop clean and folders organized (I love it!!).
2. Know Your Schedule
3. Touch it Once
- open an email that could have a very quick response, but put it off till later
- open a letter, read over it in it’s entirety, and then push it to the end of your desk for a later response
- put off finishing the client order you just received…
…you’re making way more work for yourself in the long run! So the pile climbs, the emails accumulate, and you forget altogether to place the order your client sent in three days earlier. You’re creating drama— unnecessary drama —and I completely disagree with Chandler Bing (old Friends episode) when he says that women enjoy and need this kind of drama in their lives! Quite the contrary! We need simple, effective solutions to help maintain order in a life that’s constantly set at turbo time! So, touch it once. Don’t open the mail until your checkbook is open and ready. Don’t look at your email until you’ve carved out 30 minutes to respond. By scheduling time to complete tasks fully the first time, we can shave off a lot of wasted time.
4. Block Out the Time
I was having a meeting with one of my team members and talking about how quickly I’m off on another tangent (AKA getting side tracked easily). I can’t help that I’m bursting at the seams with new ideas, can I? LOL. As we were sitting in my office for this meeting, the pings of new emails kept coming in and I was commenting about how curiosity constantly gets the better of me. I go check on those pings, and then the scenario from above plays out, “please click on me or I might cry.” What I realized is that I need to work on one project at a time in 30 minute increments. After the 30 minutes, I can decide if I want to set it aside or if I’ve gained enough momentum to keep on keep’n on.
5. Plan Ahead
Be a planner. If you’re not acting out a plan all you’re doing is reacting to a problem! Think about that for a minute. How can you (or I) progress in our business, in our goals, in our dreams, if we have no plan to take us there? By creating a plan (broken down into tangible steps to help get you to the end goal) you are telling your mind that it’s achievable and you know just how to do it. Sure, the plans may change. One road may turn out to be a dead-end and a little back tracking is needed, but there is still a goal in mind and you’ve laid down the path to make that goal real! In contrast, if you say that you want something but don’t believe or see any way in which it could be obtainable, then your mind will never seriously consider opportunities that could bring that dream closer.
Tip: Write it out! Start with 3 goals.
- One that you feel is a fundamental step in building your business (i.e. create a senior photography program)
- Where you would like to see yourself/your business (i.e. bringing in 40K take home at part-time)
- Something that’s part of your wildest dreams (i.e. travel through Europe for 2 months)
Now break down each of those goals into stepping stones. You may even need to create smaller goals with steps to bring you to your ultimate goal. Write it out and pin it to your wall so that you look at it often. I’m very serious about getting organized. It’s the only way that I will be able to manage Leah Remillet International, Growth Getters, my home, and have the time I need to love my husband and children. Get ready for a lot more posts from me and people who know a lot more than me on the eluding topic of… (insert sinister ‘duh, duh, duh’) ORGANIZATION! If you would like to write a guest post on how you’re staying organized, email me!