In my 26 plus odd years of Business and Personal Organizing, I have seen more “Stress Balls” than the average person. This is, unless of course they are a manufacturer of Stress Balls. I am not proud to say, that I have ‘de-cluttered’ stress ball collections, organized stress ball collections,  and worked closely with clients ‘letting go’ of the stress ball collections.

In this time, I have thrown out, or donated more stress balls than anyone in a lifetime should be allowed to do. The responses from my clients vary, but the sentiment is the same. They are stressed out about the stress ball.

“It just sits here cluttering my desk”

” I’ve never used the thing but I feel bad throwing it away–here, I’ve got a couple more in my desk”

“I got these at a conference- they are supposed to relieve stress, but I’ve never tried it”

” I’ve tried using these things, and they don’t work- maybe I’m too stressed?”

“Someday I will use them, but I always feel guilty looking at them because I haven’t ever tried”

And so on. You get the picture.

Why on earth keep something around that you have never used, will never use, that symbolizes stress relief but causes you stress?! Is this a productive choice? Or is this a choice to keep clutter in your workspace that causes stress?

It’s your call. Incidentally, if anyone out there regularly uses a stress ball and it is effective in decreasing stress, I’d love to know your secret.

Stress Balls

Missy Bystrom is the owner of The Organized Connection located in Cleveland, OH and Orange County, CA.  Missy’s  blog gives weekly tips and tricks on becoming more organized and having a more peaceful household.  If you would like to become a certified professional organizer, follow this link.  If you would like to get more extensive information on organizing your household, business or personal, follow this link

 

 

 

one

If you want to lead a de-cluttered and an organized life, a ‘to-do’ list is necessary to bring order to your tasks and thoughts.

Lets face it, many of us have demanding jobs and demanding lives. It’s easy to get carried away in life and run around putting out fires. Rather than being like a hamster on a wheel not really getting anything accomplished all the way, wouldn’t it be nice to actually start and finish a project in its entirety?

The only way to insure that all projects and demands get thoroughly finished in a productive manner is to write them all down. The next step is to prioritize your tasks and focus on them in a logical and strategic manner. The only way to accomplish this is to do one assignment at a time completely, then cross it off your list.

A list can come in many forms, but its goal is the same: Organize and Prioritize all the tasks and responsibilities you committed to or that are expected of you. A list can be on a computer, on an iPad or iPod, on your phone or on a legal pad or notebook. It is best if your list is not 100 sticky notes and scraps of paper, but rather one central location.

Each day, your list should be updated, crossing out what you’ve accomplished and re-transcribing what was not finished. Your list should be in an order of importance or prioritization of tasks. You may add to your list all day long in order to keep your responsibilities clear in your mind.

An organized person, employer or employee is a leader and reliable. You stand out from the rest by being organized and efficient. You are calmer, less stressed, and really productive. This leads to extra time in life, and more success in the workplace.

 

To-Do Lists

To-Do Lists

Missy Bystrom is the owner of The Organized Connection located in Cleveland, OH and Orange County, CA.  Missy’s  blog gives weekly tips and tricks on becoming more organized and having a more peaceful household.  If you would like to become a certified professional organizer, follow this link.  If you would like to get more extensive information on organizing your household, business or personal, follow this link

none

We all know that CLUTTER can be detrimental to a business financially.  A Corporation can loose millions of dollars, while a small business can fold simply due to CLUTTER.

Why is clutter so dangerous? In addition to decreased productivity, decreased efficiency,

Clutter can translate to actual LOST money.

How?

According to a study released in 2010 by P-Touch, The estimated annual dollars spent on looking for misplaced items in the office is $89,840,657,069 among full-time office professionals”.

Given this study is over 3 years old, one can assume that the costs are even higher.

What exactly does this means?

Simply stated, when one has so much CLUTTER, and is so disorganized that they cannot locate an item, they misplace an item, leave an items behind, etc., many times it must be replaced. Whether the item is replaced by an employer or a company owner, it COSTS someone. This obviously comes out of the bottom line.

Most popular items lost or misplaced: Lap Tops, Ipads, Cell Phones, chargers, adaptors, and numerous office supplies.

The above figure only accounts for the replacement of items. It does not even take into account the TIME or PRODUCTIVITY it has taken one to actually try to locate an item.

Cluttered Office Space

Cluttered Office Space

Missy Bystrom is the owner of The Organized Connection located in Cleveland, OH and Orange County, CA.  Missy’s  blog gives weekly tips and tricks on becoming more organized and having a more peaceful household.  If you would like to become a certified professional organizer, follow this link.  If you would like to get more extensive information on organizing your household, business or personal, follow this link

none

Paper multiplies.

Paper comes at us from all directions.

Paper sneaks in when we least expect it.

Paper also builds quickly and surrounds us before we know it.

Paper can impede movement, figuratively or physically.

Paper is clutter, and it inhibits creativity, decreases productivity and prevents efficiency IF it is not managed.

If you have a pile of papers on your desk, bags of papers all over your office, boxes of papers in your closer, or bins of storage in your storage, NOW is the time to deal with it!

How?

If you have a general idea of what type of papers you have, you can determine if you need to do a ‘thorough de-clutter and organize’, or a quick one. If you have a lot of financial documents mixed into the piles for instance, and they are not over 7-10 years old, then you will need to do a thorough job finding them. If you have wills or other important documents, again, you will need to do a complete de-clutter.

If you have old magazines, articles, recipes, and the like, you have my permission to dump it all in the recyclables. I promise you can find that recipe online.

If you are doing a thorough job:

1. Get a bunch of cardboard boxes or bins

2. Determine your categories of your ‘stuff’; financial, marketing, clients, PR, expenses, or whatever is relevant to your situation.

3. Include boxes for shred, recycle and throw.

4. Get a bright sticky note at write the category on each one and tape to the box.

5. Surround yourself with your papers and address one pile, bin or box at a time.

6. Look only at the pile in front of you to avoid getting overwhelmed.

7. Then look at one piece of paper at a time. Determine its category. Toss it in the allotted box.

8. Stay with it for as long as you can. You will get in a grove and it will go quickly. Plus, when you are tired and sick of papers, you will be more apt to toss or recycle instead of saving unnecessary papers.

9. Make decisions quickly. Don’t over think the process.

10. When finished, take out the trash, recyclables and shredding immediately. Your goal is to lighten your environment and clear out the clutter.

Sorting through papers and categorizing before filing

Sorting through papers and categorizing before filing

 

For now, you are finished. Take a break. Don’t take too long of a break though; otherwise things will magically pile up again. Give it a week.

In the meantime, when papers come in, automatically toss them into their labeled box.

Next weekend you can begin sub categorization, filing and establishing systems.

Missy Bystrom is the owner of The Organized Connection located in Cleveland, OH and Orange County, CA.  Missy’s  blog gives weekly tips and tricks on becoming more organized and having a more peaceful household.  If you would like to become a certified professional organizer, follow this link.  If you would like to get more extensive information on organizing your household, business or personal, follow this link

none

It sounds like an obvious fact: If you actually do work in your office, it won’t always be organized or look tidy.

That’s a GOOD thing. It means you are being productive. I am giving you permission to let your office be a bit messy – for a while.

Offices, at home or out in the workforce, need to be maintained. They need to be tended to. Systems need to be set up and followed. ‘Stuff’ needs to be sorted and prioritized.

If you want to be efficient, set a weekly check-in and clean up. Put it on your calendar. Commit to it.

As with anything you do, the key is balance.

If you spent a lot of your time fretting how messy your office is, focusing your attention on the clutter, and thinking about how awful it is- then YES. It will affect your productivity, your efficiency and your performance.

If you spend your time following the systems you set up, maintaining your office space at least on a weekly basis, and focus on success – then YES. Success will be your result.

 

Weekly Office Paper Sort

Weekly Office Paper Sort

Missy Bystrom is the owner of The Organized Connection located in Cleveland, OH and Orange County, CA.  Missy’s  blog gives weekly tips and tricks on becoming more organized and having a more peaceful household.  If you would like to become a certified professional organizer, follow this link.  If you would like to get more extensive information on organizing your household, business or personal, follow this link

none

Have you ever had the experience of misplacing your phone? Your charger? Maybe your keys to your office or your stapler?  How about an iPad or even a laptop?

If you nodded or answered ‘yes’ or at least can relate to any of these scenarios, you are not alone.

In the workplace, based on full-time employment, the average person wastes 4-6 hours looking for lost ‘stuff’. According to a survey done by P-touch in 2012, it was determined that 89 billion dollars per year is spent on the losses incurred by businesses in the US on either time lost looking for ‘stuff’ and/or on replacement of such items.  Unfortunately, financial losses to entrepreneurial businesses are even higher as they tend to take on more jobs and wear ‘more hats’.

Based on these numbers, one could very easily conclude that productivity and efficiency is affected in a negative manner when one is not organized. When an environment is cluttered, it makes it harder to locate items. When items cannot be located, TIME is wasted. When time is wasted, MONEY is wasted.

The answer? EVERYTHING MUST HAVE A HOME. If everything ‘lives’ somewhere, then it can always be easily found. There is never a question of ‘where’ it is.

Take it a step further: when something is used, PUT IT BACK in its home when finished.  Then it can always be located quickly and efficiently.

 

Nothing in this photo has a 'home'. Nothing can be easily located

Nothing in this photo has a ‘home’. Nothing can be easily located

 

Missy Bystrom is the owner of The Organized Connection located in Cleveland, OH and Orange County, CA.  Missy’s blog gives weekly tips and tricks on becoming more organized and having a more peaceful household.  If you would like to become a certified professional organizer, follow this link.  If you would like to get more extensive information on organizing your household, business or personal, follow this link

none

Clutter and Disorganization are an enormous problem in the workplace and in life in general. Although it may be difficult to actually measure the monetary cost of it’s effect at home or in ‘life’ in general, it CAN be measured in the workplace.

Keep in mind that clutter comes in many forms.  In the workplace, clutter may come in as: actual stuff; co-workers; papers; commitments, calendar, obligations, technology, social media, noise, types of chaos, and much more.

One way the actual ‘Clutter’ that comes in can be measured financially is by how many interruptions one experiences during a workday. Each interruption costs a business 6-10 minutes.  If one is an employee with a set job, it costs around 6-8 minutes depending on the person. If one is an entrepreneur or small business owner, the costs soar from 8-10 minutes.  The reason is that the later group tends to wear ‘more hats’ and is spread out doing several jobs at once.

Here is one hypothetical example of how this translates to MONEY LOST for a business:

The task in this scenario is an employee prioritizing his tasks and sitting at a desk typing up a detailed proposal for a client.  Normally, this particular exercise will take 1 hour.

 8:00AM- Sitting at desk working on contract.

8:10AM- Phone rings. It is ignored.

6 minutes

8:16AM-Sitting at desk working on contract.

8:20AM-Facebook notification sounds. Someone messaged. It is ignored.

6 minutes

8:26AM-Sitting at desk working on contract.

8:29AM- Phone beeps. A text was received. It is ignored.

6 minutes

8:35AM-Sitting at desk working on contract.

8:40AM- Fellow employee pops in to say ‘good-morning’

6 minutes

8:46-Sitting at desk working on contract.

8:49- E-mail message received. The sound is heard.

6 minutes

8:55- Sitting at desk working on contract.

8:57- Work stops so a message can be scribbled down on a sticky note of the milk that must be picked up on the way home

6 minutes

9:03- THE CONTRACT SHOULD BE COMPLETED

 Obviously, the contract is NOT completed. At this point, on a good day 27 minutes

of work have been spent on the contract in one hour and 3 minutes. 36 minutes have been spent switching gears and trying to get refocused after a distraction. Normally, there are many more beeps and alarms and sounds that occur that listed in this hypothetical scenario.

 

It is also important to note that an attempt was made in this scenario to ignore the distractions or not respond. IF an email or a Facebook message was addressed, that time spent on addressing the message would be added onto the 6 minutes it takes to get back on track.  In addition, if one were a small business owner or entrepreneur, the time spent on trying to get back on track would have been 60 minutes and it would be 9:27AM with the contract unfinished.

 

How does this ‘CLUTTER’, in this case of simple interruptions or distractions translate to MONEY for a business?

If one is paid $30 an hour, (or $.50 a minute), the following would be true in this scenario:

A contract that should cost the business $30 to have written will actually cost $65 to write at this same rate.

This is just a simple example of the costs of interruptions or ‘clutter’.  Unfortunately, in today’s workplace, a person rarely has the luxury to sit down and focus on or two hours on a contract. Many times they are expected to be doing much more or ‘multi-tasking’. Meetings are attended. Conference calls are had. Fires are put out.

It is painfully obvious to see how a company looses productivity and efficiency of its employees by ‘clutter’, chaos and interruptions.

Clutter in the form of 'stuff'

Clutter in the form of ‘stuff’

 

Missy Bystrom is the owner of The Organized Connection located in Cleveland, OH and Orange County, CA.  Missy’s  blog gives weekly tips and tricks on becoming more organized and having a more peaceful household.  If you would like to become a certified professional organizer, follow this link.  If you would like to get more extensive information on organizing your household, business or personal, follow this link

 

 

 

 

 

 

none

Whether you are an iPad fan or spiral bound notebook fan, taking notes when given directions or information on the job is imperative to be organized and successful.

Note Taking Supplies

Note Taking Supplies

It’s funny how many people forget details in their jobs, especially when the tasks or clients change day to day. I imagine it may be human nature to think that you can remember everything. When in a conversation it seems so important and so vivid, there’s no way you can forget, right? Wrong. How many times have you walked into a grocery store to get milk, and you return home with a bag of groceries and forget the milk? We are busy people and there are a lot of distractions and clutter around us.

I guarantee if you take organized notes when a boss, client or manager is giving you directions, you will not forget or overlook a thing. How can you? The list is right in front of you. You then have the luxury of prioritizing.

In the workforce, we all want to set ourselves apart, whether you own your own company or work for a corporation. The best way to get noticed is to do all that is asked for you to the very best of your ability. Get a reputation for following through on projects and being reliable.  Be efficient and productive and skate through your workday.

Then go home at night knowing you’ve done an outstanding job.

Missy Bystrom is the owner of The Organized Connection located in Cleveland, OH and Orange County, CA.  Missy’s blog gives weekly tips and tricks on becoming more organized and having a more peaceful household.  If you would like to become a certified professional organizer, follow this link.  If you would like to get more extensive information on organizing your household, business or personal, follow this link

none

It sounds like an obvious fact: If you actually do work in your office, it won’t always be organized or look tidy.

That’s a GOOD thing. It means you are being productive. I am giving you permission to let your office be a bit messy – for awhile.

Offices, at home or out in the workforce, need to be maintained. They need to be tended to. Systems need to be set up and followed. ‘Stuff’ needs to be sorted and prioritized.

If you want to be efficient, set a weekly check-in and clean up. Put it on your calendar. Commit to it. Prioritize.

As with anything you do, the key is balance.

If you spent a lot of your time fretting how messy your office is, focusing your attention on the clutter, and thinking about how awful it is- then YES. It will affect your productivity, your efficiency and your performance.

If you spend your time following the systems you set up, maintaining your office space at least on a weekly basis for optimal efficiency, and focused on success – then YES. This will be your result-SUCCESS.

Needs the Weekly Tune Up

Needs the Weekly Tune Up

Missy Bystrom is the owner of The Organized Connection located in Cleveland, OH and Orange County, CA.  Missy’s  blog gives weekly tips and tricks on becoming more organized and having a more peaceful household.  If you would like to become a certified professional organizer, follow this link.  If you would like to get more extensive information on organizing your household, business or personal, follow this link

 

none

Whether you work out of an office, a cubicle or a vehicle, the area that you do business from is your command center. This is your personal space that dictates how you perform.

An organized, de-cluttered work environment promotes creativity, productivity, and growth. It allows you to perform at the top of your game. It separates you from the rest. In an environment that is set up for you to be at your best YOU WILL SUCCEED.

Some concepts you’ve heard that can be disregarded from the start if you choose are:

 

  • There is no one way to ‘organize’ or ‘de-clutter’
  • There is also no way to ‘de-clutter’ or ‘be organized’ once and for all
  • There is no ‘right way to file’
  • You office will NOT look like the front of a magazine cover UNLESS this truly works for you
  • You must use technology to be organized/Go Paperless, etc. (this is good for about half of our population- the other half does better with paper)

 

Here are some suggestions to keep in mind IF they apply to you:

 

  • A filing system works if you can locate anything immediately when asked to, AND your staff or assistant can
  • An ‘in-box’ and ‘immediate action’ box are VERY helpful to have at your fingertips and address daily
  • A calendar is important- whether it’s on your phone, your computer, your desk, your wall, or all of the above. Yes- you may be duplicating your efforts- but sometimes that may work best
  • A daily ‘to-do’ list is very important. This list is crossed off at the end of the day (by hand or virtually), and re-transcribed for the following morning using prioritization.
  • If you like stacks or piles, or sticky notes or bulletin boards- go for it. The only rule is that you MUST know what is in each pile, and sticky notes and bulletin boards rotate. Get rid of what doesn’t apply
  • If you must have all of your stuff in front of you, and it doesn’t work if you file it or neatly box it away- this is fine. The same rule applies- you MUST know what is where.
  • When you set us a SYSTEM of any kind, you must maintain it and your staff or coworkers must be aware of it.
  • Most importantly- Everything MUST have a home. Everything MUST be put back in its home after each use. Everyone who is involved in the business MUST know where the home is- and play by the rules.

 

Overall, you will have a much calmer and less chaotic work life if you maintain balance and order. You don’t have to be great at it. You don’t even have to be really good. You DO need to consciously make an attempt and make it a part of your focus. It will make your task more efficient, your job easier, and most importantly, set you apart from the rest.

 

Organized Productive Office Space after De-Cluttering

Organized Productive Office Space after De-Cluttering

Missy Bystrom is the owner of The Organized Connection located in Cleveland, OH and Orange County, CA.  Missy’s  blog gives weekly tips and tricks on becoming more organized and having a more peaceful household.  If you would like to become a certified professional organizer, follow this link.  If you would like to get more extensive information on organizing your household, business or personal, follow this link

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

none

Categories

Links

Subscribe

Enter your email to subscribe to future updates

archives

Become more organized – OR experience a De-cluttered Calm Life

Become More OrganizedMissy Bystrom, professional organizer of over 25 years give you her insights and ideas on how to live a more balanced, and less cluttered and chaotic life. No workbooks, no ‘step-by-step’, just a simple common sense approach you can listen to and follow at your own pace. Listen while you are driving or at home, and get ready for a calm, balanced life!


Read More

tag cloud