1. There is no "one-size-fits-all" organizing method, any more than there are "one-size-fits-all" underpants.
Every disorganized person has good reasons for their disorganization.
Your reason might be as simple as, "I like things messy. It inspires my
artistic side", or even, "I havenít gotten around to cleaning up yet".
Find your true reason and youíll cure your disorganization for good.
3. Handling paper once doesnít work. Handle it as many times as
you need to in order to get the job done. The only paper you can handle
once is Kleenex. And now Iím going to ignore that other thought you
just had. . .
4. Want to murder your To-Do list? Use index cards
instead, and write one task on each card. Then sort them by due date,
by activity, or even color. When youíre done with one task, throw the
card away. Youíll never write a To-Do list again.
5. Neatness is
not the same thing as being organized. Neatness is only prettiness.
Donít get hung up on it. Focus on effectiveness. If people complain
because your office is disorganized, tell them that's like criticizing
Albert Einstein for his haircut.
6. Change the word "organize"
to the word "access" and your cure becomes clear. For example, instead
of saying, "I need to organize the stuff on my kitchen table", say, "I
need better access to the stuff on my kitchen table." Many people are
able to throw away their Prozac after a simple furniture rearrangement.
Is your reading pile too high? Rearrange it according to when each
piece must be read, then put it in files, baskets or bins labeled
accordingly. For example: "Read before Monday Meetings", "Read at night
in bed", and "If I Donít Read These Nobody Will Die".
indicate the source of the problem. Example: A pile in
front of the door means you canít handle any more people coming in, a
pile in front of the phone means you donít want any more calls, a pile
in front of the computer means you havenít learned the new program
yetóand donít want to. Piles can also mean youíre just plain busy. If
anyone complains, tell them theyíre just jealous.
a "junk basket" in every room. You need a place for things to
marinate until youíre ready to handle them. To think youíll ever be
"done" is ludicrousóyouíre never done until youíre dead.
Forget the old saying, "Donít put it down until youíve handled it."
Change that to, "Donít put it down until youíve verbed it." The
fastest, cheapest way to organize a desk is to put a stickie on each
piece of paper in such a way that itís sticking up like a flag. Then
write the pertinent verb and due date on each stickie. For example,
"Pay October 15th", "Fax Friday 9/24", "Call Monday", etc. Verb and a
date, verb and a date, verb and a date. This is now your new mantra.
There will be a test.
© Copyright 2004 by Liz FranklinPermission
for one time use granted to professional media when you use
the byline "used by permission of Liz Franklin, author of HOW TO
GET ORGANIZED WITHOUT RESORTING TO ARSON"
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