In preparing for our January “Lunch & Learn” workshop Get Organized Now: Organizing Techniques for Extraordinary Results, I had a thought, “Don’t most of us vow to ‘get’ organized every year?” And if so, why do we need to keep “getting” organized?
I realized that what we really need to do is to BECOME organized!
We can learn all the techniques in the world for getting organized, but if we don’t make them a part of who we are and how we operate on a daily basis, they’re not going to work. In our workshop on Jan. 26, we’ll provide all participants with great tips and techniques for:
– Eliminating clutter
– Making decisions about what things to “toss” and what to keep
– Creating a management system for paper and computer files
– Maximizing workspace so they can actually get some work done
– Creating a plan to stay organized throughout the year
The techniques we teach will help participants get organized, but the most important part of the process is staying organized. To stay organized, we have to BECOME organized people. Only then will we be able to take “get organized” off of our annual to-do lists.
This blog post would be much too long if I shared all the organizing techniques we’ll cover in the workshop. However, here are some tips, once you get your “stuff” organized, to creating the mindset that can help you become an organized person- so all your hard work getting organized will truly pay off.
1. Value being organized- make it a priority in your daily activities. Make it a point to get organized before you get moving in the morning, and to organize things at the end of every day.
2. Create organized habits- for example, if you’re constantly looking for your keys, create a place for them and set a goal for the next three weeks to ALWAYS put your keys in that spot when you’re not using them. If you slip up, the three-week clock starts again. Only once you’ve consistently done something for three full weeks, will you see that it’s become a habit.
3. Always put things back- if you take a pair of scissors from the drawer, put them back when you’re done using them. Don’t leave them on the desk, counter, etc. When you brush your teeth in the morning, put the toothbrush back in the holder. When you take out a file to look something up, put it back once you have the data you need, don’t leave it on your desk.
4. Separate emotion and memory from “stuff”- An example I always use in organizing classes is the high school letter jacket. Unless you think your teen is really going to wear your high school letter jacket because it’s now “retro,” there’s really no reason to keep it. However, many of us keep things like this because of the memories associated with the item. But memories are in our minds and hearts, not in a smelly old jacket. In fact, the jacket is probably shoved in the back of a closet or packed up in a box, so you’re not using it to “prompt” the memories anyway. Get rid of the jacket and keep pictures of you wearing it- that’s probably more valuable, useful, and accessible for your family’s future generations.
5. SCHEDULE specific times to reorganize and declutter- Even the most organized people make it a point to schedule an appointment on their calendars to tidy up, assess systems, and declutter. You don’t want to wait until clutter becomes out-of-hand and overwhelming. Additionally, taking a look at your organizing systems and tools can help you figure out what’s working and what’s not– just because a certain system works for me, doesn’t mean it’s the best system for you. Each person needs to find what works for him or her.
Here’s hoping 2012 is the year you become an organized person. If you need help, and you’re in the Houston area, we’d love to see you at the Get Organized Now: Organizing Techniques for Extraordinary Results workshop. Click the link below for more information or to register.