Maximizing Organization: Ordering the Inputs and Outputs of Life

Maximizing Organization: Ordering the Inputs and Outputs of Life by Laura Stack #productivity

One of the keys of workplace competence lies in your ability to organize the inputs and outputs in your work life, so you can more easily locate data and resources anywhere: in paper files, on your computer, on the company Intranet, or distributed in your team members' heads. Since information constantly bombards modern workers, the ability to access it efficiently can enhance personal and team productivity to a surprising degree. By now, you probably have the basics down pat: a handy, usable, and garbage-free (HUG) time management system that includes your personal schedule, task lists, and contact info; a clean and uncluttered workspace; a dedicated filing system; and a simple file-naming protocol that helps you locate information quickly. You had to master these survival skills … [Read more...]

The 3T Approach: Aligning Strategy with Daily Operations

"The most empowering condition of all is when the entire organization is aligned with its mission, and people’s passions and purpose are in synch with each other." -- Bill George, former CEO of Medtronic, and leadership expert Peter Sims "Alignment begins with a constituency of one." -- American inspirational writer Kristin S. Kaufman. One of the business world's standing challenges is aligning long-term organizational strategy with day-to-day operations—the short-term tactics and logistics that combine to ensure the organization stays afloat. Indeed, bringing the two together may represent the most difficult part of a leader’s job. It's tough at any level, especially on the front lines where workers have a hard enough time taking care of their basic duties, plus the new initiatives their … [Read more...]

Organizing Your Space

Tackle a single one-hour organizing project each weekend, such as a drawer, shelf, cabinet, closet, or box. Don’t attempt a huge task, such as an entire bedroom. Break it down into manageable bite-sized chunks. When it’s time to begin, don’t just dump everything out on the floor. You’ll run out of time and steam and shove everything back in, only to be more disorganized than before. Instead, get five sturdy boxes. The Put Away box contains items that are out of place and go somewhere else. The Give Away box is for items that are in good repair that you no longer want or use to give to charity or sell. Use the Store Away box for items that are going to be used again in a reasonable amount of time but not regularly. The Toss box contains items that are broken, old, worn, or in bad repair … [Read more...]

Tame Your To-Do List

To-do lists are helpful, because they relieve your brain of the need to remember everything. To effectively organize your time, you actually need TWO different to-do lists: a master list and a daily list. A master to-do list is an on-going, running memory list of everything you want to do someday. A daily to-do list is essentially your plan of what you truly intend to get done today. It's NOT an on-going list of everything you need to do, as in the master to-do list. A daily to-do list is the first thing you see in the morning and the last thing you see at night. It keeps you focused and on-target throughout the day. When you think of something to-do, ask yourself when you're going to do it and record it on the appropriate list: the daily list for today and the master list if not. … [Read more...]

Why Are You Here, Anyway?

"Fit no stereotypes. Don't chase the latest management fads. The situation dictates which approach best accomplishes the team's mission." -- Former U.S. Secretary of State and four-star General. Why am I here? In addition to being one of the great mysteries of human existence, this question is one of the most important ones you can ask yourself, especially when you contemplate your job. It’s an exercise that should be undertaken regularly. Why do you occupy this particular box in your workplace's org chart? What do your superiors expect you to accomplish? What is your personal return on investment? What value do you bring to the company? If you have no real reason for working other than your need to occupy yourself or provide for your family, then you've lost sight of your workplace m … [Read more...]

Spring Cleaning: Time to Get Organized!

It’s springtime! For most, that means throwing open the windows and doing some serious spring cleaning. It’s also a great opportunity to catch up on much-needed spring organizing…attacking the organizational backlog that may have piled up over the last few months. Here are some tips on doing away with the two most pervasive and frustrating forms of clutter: paper clutter and electronic clutter. Tackling paper clutter A BusinessWeek article called “The Office of the Future” gives a promising glimpse into the future of office productivity, including the paperless office. The article was originally published in 1975. Anyone out there working in a paperless office yet? Quite the contrary. Most of us are saddled with more paper than ever. So much for the paperless office! How often have you … [Read more...]

What Does Office Clutter Cost You?

According to a recent CareerBuilder study, clutter could be costing you quite a bit! More than a quarter of employers said they are less likely to promote someone who has a messy work space. A large percentage of employers also feel that having paper piles on desks gives them a more negative impression of those workers. Surpisingly, a third of workers admit to having hoarding tendencies with 13% saying they have files which are more than five years old. If you're facing challenges with office clutter, we've got help for you! Spend an hour with me on my pre-recorded webinar "Organize Your Office and Your Life: Survive Information Overload and Clear the Clutter." You'll learn expert tips on keeping the clutter at bay so that you have more time to tackle that to-do list! … [Read more...]

Cleaning Out Your Life and Purging Things You Don’t Need

"The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak." -- Hans Hoffman, American abstract painter "As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness." -- Henry David Thoreau "Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated." -- Confucius, ancient Chinese philosopher We've all heard the lifestyle guru's favorite mantra: "Simply, simply, simplify," after that paragon of simplicity himself, Thoreau. That's actually pretty good advice, and not just for your personal life. Simplifying has its place in the office as well; in fact, it may be more critical there than elsewhere, since it's another part of the grand mosaic that results in … [Read more...]

Business Productivity: For Executives – Organization

"Ignorance is not bliss. It's fatal. It's costly. And it's for losers. You either get organized, or get crushed." -- Donald Trump, American businessman One of the Six Keys of workplace competence is Accessibility: your ability to organize the inputs and outputs in your work life, so that you can easily locate data in any medium—whether it's in paper files, on your computer system, on the company Intranet, or distributed in your team members' heads. Given the fact that modern workers are constantly bombarded with data and communications, just being able to access information efficiently can enhance productivity to a surprising degree. At the C-Suite level, Accessibility morphs into Organization…and from a productivity standpoint, it's more important than ever. Organization means more tha … [Read more...]

Productivity Minute Video: How to Organize A Room

Laura Stack, The Productivity Pro(R), shares tips on room organization. (C) 2010 Laura Stack. All Rights Reserved … [Read more...]