Welcome to the November edition of the Organized Lifestyle Magazine. This edition is about calming that ongoing feeling of being "behind the eight ball", "overwhelmed", "frantic" and just plain old "disorganized". Those are our client's descriptions, not ours.
Have you spent a lot of time 'trying' to get organized or de-clutter but you come up short or the feeling doesn't last that long? Maybe it's time you took a slightly different approach and hired someone to help you. You don't need to know where to start and you don't need to know exactly how it's going to work - you merely need to commit a few blocks of time in your calendar and hire someone who acts professionally, is good at what they do and has a solid reputation.
We invite you to read through this edition to find tips and strategies for organizing your home, office, time and spirit.
|Hello, I'm Deanne Kelleher, |
Founder of kAos Group a
Professional Organizing consultancy
Love Your Home!
Your home is your castle - or is it? How do you feel when you step through the door and arrive into your home? Do you experience feelings of comfort and relief or do you feel stressed and anxious? By taking a few steps to make your home life systems easier and more streamlined, you can begin to take charge and conquer those stressful feelings.
- Harness the paper: Kids with school forms, papers you brought home from work, mail, store flyers, and the list goes on. The key is to have a good sorting station designated in a central spot. Trays or baskets can be labeled for kids, mail, flyers... you get the idea. Place the appropriate papers in the right tray and teach the kids to take responsibility for emptying their backpacks and sorting their own papers.
- Become the Queen (or King) of delegation: Teenagers in the home who now have drivers licenses can be assigned a once-a-month grocery run. Arm them with a shopping list and a pre-paid debit card or cash and send them on their way. If you have more than one driving teenager, let them take turns. Two teens each doing one weekly grocery session can really save you time, plus they will learn about budgeting and making smart food choices!
- Automate assembly lines: Just imagine if Ford had to build their cars one at a time - why should you make all your meals that way? Pick one day in the week to set up your own station for prepping kids lunches - assemble and bag any foods that don't need to be prepared fresh, then label with the date and child's name. Pick one other day to cook and bake a number of one-dish dinners for the entire week. When you get home, just re-heat!
- Embrace technology: Encourage your kids that have cell phones to communicate with you via text which can save a lot of running around and reduce your anxiety. Know where they are, when they need to be picked up, and share your online family calendars so that everyone is synchronized and there are no surprises about who is going where, when and with whom.
When you arrive home, knowing that things are going to run smoothly because the kids can put their papers away, you have a well-stocked pantry, your dinner is pre-cooked, and you don't have any last minute surprises, you will feel that sense of comfort and relief upon entering the door of your home, or should I say your castle.
Read more ideas on organizing your living space ...
What is Toggling Costing You?
We all know that countless interruptions throughout our work day is a sure fire recipe for getting nothing done. In an effort to stay on top of all the communications we get on a daily basis we have embraced the art of multi-tasking. Taking a sneak peak at our Twitter feed, or Facebook wall and typing out quick replies to emails often takes place simultaneously while we work on various projects and assignments. A computer scientist has come up with a theory about this in his article, Brain Interrupted
, that we are really not multi-tasking at all. Instead, by juggling between emails, texts, tweets, we are actually doing "rapid toggling between tasks."
When a consumer switches banks or a business switches suppliers, companies have proven that there is an economic cost involved. Similarly, there is a cost effect on our brain when it gets interrupted by switching tasks. In an experiment with a control group that was not interrupted while they were asked to read a short passage and answer questions and another group that was interrupted with brief emails on further instructions, the brain drain on the interrupted group made them answer correctly 20% less often!
While it's not surprising that this "toggling" causes us to loose focus, many of us find it difficult to turn off the distractions. But if you can quantify how much it is costing you - reducing your performance from 80% to 60% - then you may just have the motivation needed to close your email application, turn of your instant alerts, and just do one task at a time.
Want to know how much disorganization is costing you? Click here...
Amplify Your Productivity with One App
Want to know why everyone is touting the virtues of Evernote? Because it really is AMAZING! If you haven't yet tried this app, then read on. And if you are already using it, read on to find out how to further boost your productivity with a feature that you may not even be aware of.
5 Ways to Work Smarter, Not Harder
Working hard is what many people will tell you is the right thing to do: "Work hard and it will pay off," "Work hard and you will get rewarded." But there's nothing wrong with taking a few short cuts that enable to you to work smarter. Whether it be ideas to make your housework chores easier or achieve greater productivity at work, here are some tips that will allow you to do things easier:
- Effortlessly clean the inside of your microwave: Zap a cup of vinegar in a microwave safe open container for about 30-60 seconds to allow the steam to loosen any hardened bits of food (or use lemon slices in water if you don't like the vinegar smell). Then just wipe.
- Keep track of your professional accomplishments as they happen: Keep a log of your work history, responsibilities, and achievements by recording them at the end of each month. Then if you need a resume, just edit.
- Use the 2-minute rule: Instead of putting everything on your to-do list, if it can be completed within 2 minutes, just do it immediately. You'll be amazed at how much you get done.
- Never hold a meeting without an agenda. By taking a few minutes up front to plan and write out the agenda, you will avoid many long-winded discussions and circular conversations. Add duration times against each agenda entry to make it even more effective.
- Agendize the way you meet....
- Use templates as much as possible. If you find yourself writing things like thank you letters, welcome emails or any phrases repeatedly, save the text as a template to be copied and pasted into your next document. Why reinvent the wheel each time?
And don't forget the obvious: get enough sleep, exercise and hydration to really turbo-charge your spirit so that you wake up refreshed and alert each day. Yes, hard work does pay off, but so can smart work too!
Feel free to call or email: 416.347.9002
firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us what you like or what you'd like to see more of.
Did You Know
The way you sit at your desk and work, go about completing chores around the house or manage your schedule could say a lot about you. The key to organizing your work and life in general is more successful when you work with your personality rather than trying to fit into some "ideal" mold.Right-brain types are visually oriented.
Left-brain types are those who think in words
We'll be attending or speaking at the following events this month:
Rogers Daytime TV in Hamilton on Wed Nov 6th,
Rogers Daytime TV in Peel on Friday Nov 8th
Centennial College to my usual first semester business students CAWEE
Networking on Thursday Nov 14thProfessional Organizers in Canada