Chronic Disorganization can affect your professional career.
In my last post, we defined Chronic Disorganization (CD). In today’s economy, it’s essential that we give ourselves every fighting chance in our given industries. Unfortunately, clutter and an untidy desk, let alone delayed projects and postponed deadlines, can pose problems to your job security. Although some workplaces may embrace a creative, free spirited individual (which can be a label attributed to an individual with CD), some find it unprofessional. You may have had a situation where you boss has requested that you tidy up your desk. I even know of situations where employers have hired Professional Organizers to work with specific employees in order to get their work space back to a manageable, organized state.
Do you need help getting organized?
If you are in a situation where your clutter has caused issues in the workplace (or at home), it is likely time to consider getting help. There are many Professional Organizers who work with individuals to help them “get it together”. It is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of, and in the long run, it will likely be an easier process than trying to find a new job. Chronic Disorganization can be attributed to a difference in executive functions. Some are stronger in some, while some are stronger in others. We all have our strengths, but sometimes we just need to focus and work on our weaknesses, and recognize that help may be needed to do that.
Your clutter is costly.
I don’t mean to be crass, but this is the reality. Although things are starting to look brighter, this is no time to take your job for granted. The downturn in the economy has forced employers to thoroughly examine their production and staff. They want to maximize their profits, and a disorganized employee can cost them money.
But don’t despair! Recognizing you need help is the first step in the right direction. In our next post, we will investigate ways to help get that pile under control. Yes, we’re going to be talking about paper. Don’t worry, you can do it!
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Thank you for stopping by… Liz Mason
Organizer serving Maryland, Washington D.C. and Virginia
My grandmother always used to say that: “A Stitch In Time Saves Nine”. This expression can be dated back to the late 1700s. The ‘stitch in time’ means to sew up a small tear in a piece of fabric, thus saving the need for even more sewing at a later time when the tear has grown even larger. I love this expression and use it all the time. In the life of a busy mom, this expression rings just as true today as it did 200 years ago.
Another expression that I carry with me is the tried and true Girl Guide motto “Be Prepared” that I learned so many years ago during my days as a Guide. The two go hand in hand and are essential for a busy mom who longs for organization. Here are a couple of my favorite ways for families to put them into practice:
1. Develop simple routines that will save you time down the road.
How familiar is this scene to you? It’s time to head out the door for school, work or any other activity. You’ve finally got everyone washed and dressed, and that includes the second change of clothes for your child who spilled their glass of milk down the front of the freshly cleaned outfit they just put on! Luckily, you have a couple minutes to spare this morning. Everyone’s at the door ready to walk out, you go to grab your keys and… Uh Oh! Where are those keys anyway???? You know you put them in your purse when you got home from last night’s meeting, you are SURE you did, but, wait a minute, where is your purse? No problem, as soon as you find it, you’ll have those keys and be out the door lickety split. 10 minutes later, you are no longer the happy mom you were, and your purse is still nowhere to be found. Your couple minutes to spare have long since passed and you have exchanged the peace of being out the door on time for the stress of being late. This is definitely not very organized.
A simple routine here can be installing a hook for either your keys or your purse by the door you most use to come in and out of the house. Once that hook is installed, get in the habit of using it EVERY single time you come into the house. Once you’re in the habit of hanging your purse or keys up, you’ll never have to search for them again. You’ll know exactly where to find them. The stitch in time: hanging up your purse/keys, will save you nine: searching frantically, later.
2. Stay Organized, Think Ahead.
Here’s another scene that is all too familiar for busy families: You’ve just walked in the door from a busy day at work. You’ve got exactly one hour before you need to get out the door to tonight’s activity. You decided what you are going to have for dinner on the way home from work. You go to the kitchen, open the fridge only to discover that you are out of the main ingredient. Now what? You just had KD last night, and you are out of heat and serve options. Guess it means another night of burgers on the way. Thank the Lord for drive-throughs!
An easy way to navigate your family’s busy schedule is to keep track of it on a calendar, and to be prepared for busy nights ahead of time. A crock pot can be a life saver on nights where you are in and out with only seconds to spare, but you’ve got to plan to use it ahead of time.
Prepackaging a few healthy snacks in baggies is another great way to be organized and prepared for busy times. Being able to grab a small bag of grapes or veggie sticks not only saves your family’s health, it saves you the cost of buying convenience foods from snack bars and vending machines.
There are lots of little ways that you can save yourself time, money and stress by being organized. Start by thinking of one area that causes you a great deal of stress, like getting out the door on time, getting the laundry done, or getting forms back to school on time. Once you’ve found your stressor, think of small ways that you can make that routine easier and go from there. In no time you’ll notice a change for the better. With a few simple changes you and your family can be stress free and organized.
Organizing “Green” simplified.
Going “green” is a mission and responsibility our society is ramping up and being more conscientious of. Every day we hear, “Be conservative, conserve energy, recycle plastic, recycle paper”, and more. Part of “going green” is being organized. However, being organized generates a lot of stuff, but knowing what to do with it can be frustrating and leaves you feeling defeated. Below are five steps to assist you in making organized changes that will lead you and your family towards a “greener” life.
1. Organizing involves recycling, donating and purging.
It is always good to have options of where your items can be recycled and donated. Learn about your town’s recycling policies and drop off locations. Make a note of your community shredding events and opportunities where you can recycle electronics, paper, plastic and other items. Knowing these services are available makes the organizing task less stressful.
2. Organize a space for recycling.
Have a dedicated space allocated for daily recycling or products that are identified as needing to be donated or disposed of. You may create a recycling center outside in a shed or garage. For children, you can label the bins with pictures or words to help them learn where each item goes. Children can learn at an early age to recycle and organize.
3. Repurpose and recreate.
The way we use the items in our homes can change as we change and our lifestyle changes. If you find you no longer use an item in a particular way, be creative and repurpose it in another way. For example, an old filing cabinet can be covered with a decorative cloth and used for an end table or night stand. If you find you truly have no use for the item, move it along!
4. Organize and cleanse your lifestyle.
Eliminate items that longer serve your lifestyle or purpose. Cleaning out the OLD allows for the NEW to enter your life. In our life we allow stuff to hold us hostage to our past. For instance, an antique chair that your mother gave you holds a “not so good” memory of her. Dispose of the chair as this can cause your life to become stuck and hinder you from moving forward. Old furniture can be donated, tossed, or sold promoting a “green” environment.
5. Organizing paper is a huge frustration for most individuals.
Individuals have piles and piles of papers on their desks and in their homes, creating a cluttered, chaotic mess. There are ways to dispose and save on paper. Here are a few organizing tips to get those papers under control and organized.
1) think twice before printing pages from your computer
2) use both sides of the paper if possible
3) stop your junk mail – Call (800) 5OPT-OUT to stop junk mail
4) keep a recycle bin close to your desk for easy disposal or shredding
5) pay bills on-line as this reduces the paper mail and makes it easier to keep papers organized.
An Easy Mail Management System You Can Start Today
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Mail in and out box
- 3 file folders/desk trays
- Calendar/To Do List
Every piece of paper you have will fit into one of four categories: Do, Read, File or Trash
1. Mark on your calendar which days are mail days. If you get a lot of mail this would be at least twice per week. TIP – Leave the mail in the mailbox until mail day. Unless you are expecting a huge inheritance check there is probably no overwhelming reason to pick up the mail every day.
2. When your mail first comes in you will act upon it. All incoming mail goes into the “In box” which is to be sorted the same day.
3. Ready to sort? This is where your three file folders come in. These are “action files” so label each folder for action! DO, READ, and FILE.
4. Open your mail and act upon it. If you receive an invite to a party, mark the date on your calendar and place it in the “do” folder. You’ll want to respond as soon as possible. Once completed set it in the “out” box. Keep a book of stamps handy in your out box. A letter or an article you want to keep should be placed in the “read” folder. If it is something like a recipe sent by a friend, it goes in the “file” folder. Write a reminder on your calendar or to do list to send a thank you card.
5. Get rid of all trash immediately. If it is something you know you don’t need trash it right away. If it has personal information cut that part off and shred it.
Putting these few simple steps in place can make managing your incoming mail easy and less time consuming. Remember don’t let your mail pile up deal with it as soon as it comes in. For product information on desk trays from See Jane Lead click image.