Organizing work flow: Part 1

What mental picture comes into your mind when you hear "Professional Organizer?"  Someone clearing out a closet or a garage, maybe someone color-coding your pantry shelves?  Yes, professional organizing is about projects like that - but it is about more than that.  When I talk to people about what I do, I say:  "I deal with your stuff so you can enjoy your life."  Sometimes that "stuff" is physical stuff, and sometimes that "stuff" is life stuff.

Sometimes what you really need to get organized is your day, so you can get done what you need to do.

I had a really cool opportunity last Wednesday to work with a team of financial planners at a local Tucson office.  We talked about how to organize your work flow - and why you should bother.  I think the "why" is the easy part:  the more organized you are, the less time you spend doing unimportant tasks like finding a client file.  You have more time to spend doing important tasks - like meeting with your client, like making them (and you) money.  You look better than your competition: those who don't have it so all together.  You have less stress in your life, so you can enjoy the fun times more.  What could be bad about that?

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The "how" part is pretty easy, too.  If you want to try it out yourself, print the image above on a full-size sheet of paper.  Get yourself a pen and a timer.  Set the timer to 2 minutes, and write down all of the "to-do" thoughts in your head.  You know what I'm talking about 😉  The thoughts that keep bugging you, reminding you about all that you have to do.  OK...go!

Congratulations!  You have just finished Step 1 of 3 to get your work flow organized.

Step 1 is Collect.

Spend 2 minutes once a day collecting your "to-do" thoughts from all over your life - voicemails, emails, texts, tweets, meeting notes, random ideas, conversations, etc.  You can't get all the things on your to-do list done, be it for work or for your personal life, if you don't even know what they all are.  It sounds like common sense, but many people just don't take the time.  Seriously, if you take this 2 minutes just once a day, you'll be way ahead of the curve.

Next time, we'll tackle Step 2 and Step 3.