Archive for Action File

Six Organizing Systems Everyone Needs — System #4: Paper Flow

overflowing paper inboxHow well are your organizing systems working for you?

In the introduction to this series I shared the following:

What is a system?
What 6 organizing systems do I think everyone needs?
What 5 questions can you ask yourself to see if your systems are still working for you, or if they need tweaking?

Now let’s take a closer look at each system…

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Busting the Top 10 Organizing Myths

P1030244As part of my 10-year celebration of being in the organizing business, I thought I’d revisit this old blog post and see if I still agreed with myself. I do.

Don’t believe everything you think!  Here are the top 10 organizing myths, along with the truth and some helpful links to related blog posts and  flow charts.

Organizing Myths #1 & 2:  Neat equals organized.  &  Messy equals disorganized.

Truth:  Not necessarily! 

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Getting Things Done (GTD)

200px-Getting_Things_Done GTDHave you ever procrastinated doing something because you were afraid it might take a long time,  or lead to even more work, or make your brain hurt? And then, when you finally did it, it was easier and faster than you thought it would be, and you wondered, “Why didn’t I do that sooner?”

I just read Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity (affectionately known as GTD by legions of followers), by David Allen. No, I hadn’t read it before, although I had certainly heard about it and seen his flow chart. When clients ask me what I think of it I say, “Um… it’s very popular…and it’s compatible with what I am going to teach you.” And then I hope I’m right. (more…)

3 Steps to Falling in Love with Your Home Office

Home Office AFTER

How does your home office make you feel? If you have the sort of business where you have clients in, are you embarrassed to let them see it? One of my organizing and redesign clients said, about her cluttered, drab room, “I feel like I’m going to prison every morning.” Oh no, that’s terrible! Depending on how you use it, you might be spending more time in your home office than you do sleeping in your bedroom! (Which, by the way, is the other most neglected room in the house for décor, but that’s another story.)

So, what can you do? Here are 3 steps to falling in love with your home office:

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How to Live and Work by Design, not by Default

Living and working BY DEFAULT means choosing the easiest path, either by unconsciously resorting to bad habits, or by maintaining the status quo. Sometimes we seek to avoid the conflict that can come with making a change. Sometimes we feel we have no choice in the matter. But I’m with Henry Ford, who said, “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you are right.”

Those who live and work BY DESIGN notice when things aren’t going well, and make adjustments accordingly. They live more calmly, purposefully, and mindfully.

Here are some examples: (more…)

Inbox Zero, Really? (How to Declutter Your Email Backlog and Keep it Under Control)

Inbox Zero – WHAT?  Have you heard of Merlin Mann’s “Inbox Zero” method, whereby one processes the items in one’s email inbox down to zero emails on a regular basis? Is this possible? Yes. Is it necessary? Well, let’s just say that some version of it — Inbox Zero, Inbox Twenty, Inbox Weekly, or my version — No More Than One Screen of Emails in My Inbox — is necessary for me if I want to stay on top of my workload and my sanity. Whatever your comfort level is, the following tips will help you declutter and maintain your inbox. (more…)

Organizing to De-Stress a Major Illness

Hand coordination ,Multiracial hands holding each other in unity

Don’t be afraid to ask for help!

The idea of organizing to de-stress a major illness applies to any prolonged medical condition that results in decreased energy and mobility.  The premise is this:  The more organized you are, and the simpler your household processes, the less you will worry about things getting done, freeing you to focus your energy on getting well.

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How to Create Your Own Simple Filing System

No two people are alike, and no two filing systems need to be either.  Create your own unique filing system using the S.P.A.C.E.* method: (more…)

Mystery Piles & Action Files

action fileHave you ever heard the organizing rule, “Touch each piece of paper only once”?  (a.k.a. OHIO — Only Handle it Once) Well, it’s a myth. But the kernel of truth inside the myth is this: If you sift through a pile of mail, or other type of papers, and if you don’t decide the first time you touch it what ACTION needs to take place NEXT, you will just have to sift through the pile all over again later. Pretty soon you will end up with what I call a mystery pile. It keeps growing, and who knows what’s in there?

So, what is the easiest way to vanquish mystery piles – and the missed deadlines and opportunities they usually represent? By using an action file!

 

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