Once while I was visiting with my dad we decided it would be a great idea to give my laptop a cleaning. Now I have done this before so I wasn't too worried, yet I think my dad's vacuum is a little more powerful than the one I have because as we were giving the key board a once over my 'J' key disappeared. Yikes!!
Of course you can imagine my shear first reaction of terror. This might be slight exaggeration yet indeed it did make me pause with concern.
Luckily my dad just popped open his vacuum, found my 'J' and it was still looking ok. I managed to get it placed back on my laptop keyboard and all was well again. Now I make sure to use the small attachment I have at home that the key wont fit through. Overall I am very careful with my laptop because, it cost a lot of money and I want it to last a long time.
What about your computer, what about your companies systems? Did you want your investment to last a long time and run well too?
Let me ask you, did you know...
The average business spends more per month on its coffee supplies than it spends in an entire year providing preventive maintenance service on it’s computer hardware system, which they have invested anywhere from several thousand to hundreds of thousands of dollars in purchasing.
Modern computers with their powerful computing ability no longer need to be replaced every 2-4 years. If properly maintained, computer hardware can last 7-10 years or longer, saving your company several thousand to hundreds of thousands in capital investment. Employees appreciate a clean, healthy work place environment and customer testimonials report a noticeable reduction in employee sick time. What does one employee sick day equate to in costs to your business not only in unrecoverable salary and benefits expense, but also disruption to the workplace productivity, fumbled orders / customers, lost sales?
Think your janitorial service is cleaning your computers, better think again. At best, janitorial companies will do little more than wave a feather duster over your equipment. This is usually the janitorial company’s policy for insurance reasons.
But don't worry, I found a solution for you:
Let me introduce you to Dataclean Computer Services. Their client list speaks to both their reliability and integrity, providing service to the banking industry, call centre’s, law firms, municipal police, crown corporation offices, provincial utilities companies, municipal city facilities and small to corporate sized independent business.
Datacleans service maintenance schedules are custom tailored to fit your business based on your specific office environment requirements. i.e. shared vs. exclusive use of equipment.
For an online quotation for your equipment cleaning requirements visit www.dataclean.ca and click on the "Online Quote" tab.
Dataclean Computer Services
Contact: Willard Wilton
Willard’s got my support:
"What impressed me the most about the service and products that Willard at Dataclean provides his clients is the outstanding integrity and commitment he demonstrates while doing so. The level of dedication and care that Willard puts into his work, in my perspective, is the most valuable aspect of working with him. The product options are fantastic too, yet it's the people thatdo it for me. Thanks again Willard!" Michelle Panzlaff – Tidy Tiger Solutions
From my 20 Step Office Organizing Checklist, the task for this week is:
This visual map can help you in several ways:
Gain a more complete understanding of the process
Identify problem areas and find solutions to close any gaps
Locate the critical stages of a process
Show the relationsips beween different steps
For many it is hard to know where to start on creating such a strategy, figuring out just how complex it should be, or what software they can use to create a professioanl looking one.
Try these resources or call me and I will be happy to help.
Not only can we work work together to create this tool for you, I can help you streamline the physical systems to match.
I am going to quote something a friend of mine wrote, because today I want to touch on one of the important aspects to organizing, which is 'Finding out what works.'
"When it comes to problems, we often get fixated on what we don't like. It's like a trance that keeps us stuck! One of the best ways to take a fresh look at your problems is to ask. "What does work here?" By tuning the mind in to a different channel, we see things we never saw before."
Judi Clark M.Ed, PCC
Judi has a really good point here, and you can learn more by following the link to her site, yet before you do, let's think about this concept in a organizing capacity for a moment too...
When someone is up to their eyeballs in clutter, they may look around and say "Nothing Works!" out of sheer frustration. Yet this is just a first impression, because no matter how bad it seems there is usually something that works.
There is always an area that for some reason is under control. Let's start by identifying what that is.
As they say "Don't fix what aint broke."
The next time you are looking to organize a space in your home or your office, take a close look at what works and ask yourself why. Look at 'what works' and try to see how you can create other systems for other areas that appeal to you in the same way.
If for example when you come home, you like to 'just drop everything' in the front hallway and although you have a desk there to neatly catch your purse and keys, your shoes and jacket just get thrown on the stairs because opening the closet and hanging them up just doesn't appeal to you as you just walk in. In this case you can consider a better landing pad for your coats and shoes, like perhaps a coat rack and a large basket under the desk to catch the shoes.
Try to work with your natural tendencies; it's much easier than fighting them. Recognize when something works, and that you did something right too. Give yourself credit when it is due when you do find that thing that works, celebrate! You're on the way!
From my 20 Step Office Organizing Checklist, the task for this week is:
Many times in the past when taking on a new position in a new company, I had to learn procedures fast. We'll if you’re like me, I could not remember how to perform these new complex tasks by just being shown one or twice over the course of several weeks. So what I did was, when ever I was being trained on a new system I would open a word document and save it as a "How To..." file.
As I was being shown what to do I would take a screen shot of my desktop and paste in each new screen as it came up through the process. I would make brief notes as to what to information to enter, what buttons to hit and what file location I may need to refer to, etc.
I would make some time to edit it later to make it more clean looking and print and put in a binder at my desk. So the next time, a week or more later when I was asked to perform he same tasks, I would just pull it out, find the page and start doing the work. When I was in a position where I had a supervisor watching over me, they loved it!
Like the idea, want a 'How To' binder of your own, yet don’t know where to start?
I am here to help! Call me.
Running out of room in the closet?
Finding that you have more stuff than space?
There is a growing need to utilize or maximize your hidden space and the closet area is a good place to start. That standard "one rod and shelf" just does not cut it. It lacks function and reduces your available cubic space by 25% to 40%.
Step1 - Maximize your space.
Closet organizers give you a significant increase in functionality in these important hidden areas. Installing one, you will be amazed by the transformation. My suggestion is to go with quality, and I have just the man to help you get one at factory direct prices too.
Step2 - Decide what stays in this new "prime real estate" area of your home.
Once you have selected the closet organizer it is time to take a look at what you are going to keep and what you can do with out. That is where a professional organizer can help.
Sorting and purging are important steps to getting organized and staying organized. We all hold onto items we will never use or wear again but are afraid to let go. An objective view can be a big help when working through our belongings and having to make the right choices about what we really need or ads value and meaning to our home, and what is just holding us down like dead weight.
Organizing takes a little time, it takes effort and it can be overwhelming, yet we are here to help you so don't worry you don't have to do it alone anymore.
Get your closets and your home organized, you will be glad that you did!
To learn more about finding just the right closet organizer, see www.arbutus.com and talk to Neil Magee. You can also reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org call 604 734 1949.
To book a no-cost consultation to see how Michelle can help you organize call 778-866-6942.
Wow ..what a feeling going into your closet finding exactly what you need ..JUST PURRRR-FECT!
Opportunities are always available when you keep an eye out for them. When it comes to your living space here are some ways to build in a little extra room where you may need it most.
Holding onto something and your not even sure why? Can’t seem to let go of that old file of phone bills from 2008 or earlier? Stuck with that broken down toaster that was a wedding present from 10 years ago? Or maybe you still have every piece of artwork your child ever made, yet they’re grown up and out of the home?
Come on, it’s ok to toss that book you promised your friend you would read 3 years ago. If it’s just collecting dust on a crowded bookshelf, it’s not adding to your life is it? Maybe that box of “skinny” clothes haunting you in your closet, or cases of old bottles you trip over in the garage ‘cause “one day” you’re going to start making wine, are just taking up valuable space and energy.
Don’t get me wrong, sure there could be some things that you really need and have a plan to use soon. And maybe you’re keeping some old paperwork because they relate to a business and you need it for tax reasons.
Yet, what I have learned from by being a professional organizer is this… for the most part clutter is simply “postponed decisions.” So today to help those that need to learn to be more objective and really take an honest look at what their keeping and why, I have my ultimate TOSS LIST. A series of questions to ask yourself in relation to your “Stuff” that will give you that objective edge you might be missing.
Let's take a moment to consider how to make your life and work space better by eliminating the excess now. Just because things are interesting to you is not a good enough reason to keep them around. For example, everything that could in theory be used at the right time, under the right conditions, sometime between this ‘very’ moment and the time you plan to retire, should be tossed. To help you determine what those items are, here are the questions to ask yourself.
I am going to lay them out by category to make it that much easier:
When it comes to Paper:
Is it a duplicate?
Is it current?
How often will I refer to it?
Is it relevant to my work/life?
Will it add something new to what I already have?
Can I get it elsewhere if I need it?
Do I have time to read it?
Do I want, or truly need this?
In addition to making decisions on what to toss, the following 6 guidelines are important to deciding what not to toss. Review these so you know when it’s time to keep things:
Replication would be very difficult.
There is only the one copy available.
It is a vital piece of a project or client file.
The document is your original creation.
The information will be needed again soon.
The law requires you to keep it.
For items you are required to keep for legal reasons, I have found that there is an abundance of information on the internet. Yet, if you run across something you're just not sure about, my advice is to speak with your accountant or tax professional before making the final toss.
Tip: Remember to protect yourself. Shred documents containing personal or confidential information on you or your company.
When it comes to Clutter:
Now we may be treading into an emotional area, as we discuss personal possessions. For personal belongings and keepsakes I am going to provide two things. First, the ‘TOSS LIST’ questions, then, another way to help determine what category the “Keepers” fall into.
When was it last used?
Is there a specific date I will need this again in future?
Does it require action by me? (If yes, move to location for 'ACT' items)
How hard would it be to replace again if I needed it?
Is it recent enough to be useful?
How does it make my life more purposeful or better?
Is it beautiful or loved?
Does it reflect the person I am now?
What is worst case scenario if I toss it?
Now, if you struggle a bit with the questions above and/or still need a little help to decide where to put things, take a closer look at the ‘Toys, Tools, Treasures & Trash’ list below.
Basically, what you need to do is pick up each item and ask yourself two questions… 1. Does this item hold a high emotional value for me? 2. Does it have a high level of function in my home/office?
Here are the suggestions based on each possible answer:
High Emotion – High Function – TOYS – Keep close at hand and visible. Invest in good containment, making it easier to put away than to take out. (A basic organizing rule of thumb)
Low Emotion – High Function – TOOLS – Keep close at hand and accessible but out of site. Again, good functional containment is important. Label well also, as this helps remind you to put things back where they belong when you’re done using it.
High Emotion – Low Function – TREASURE – Keep displayed at a distance or store away. If you have treasured items, take a few of your best and put in a quality display. Store the rest if you really can’t part with them. Store things in good quality containment and review often. Tip: A collector enjoys and takes pride in their collection; they don’t treat their items poorly and leave them lying about unorganized where they can be damaged.
Low Emotion – Low Function – TRASH. Trash it, recycle it, or donate it, yet do it fast. Once the decision is made, get rid of the items quickly so you don’t go back on your decisions later.
If you find you still can’t do it, don’t have the energy or time, then I am here to help you. I will bring the tools, the process, the energy, the knowledge and a truly objective view.
I recognize the fact that in this world we are bombarded with paper, information and stuff and that getting overwhelmed by it all can be a hard barrier to break. Let me help you break past that and learn the way to simplify your life and your work today.
From my 20 Step Office Organizing Checklist, the task for this week is:
By Melia Goertzen, of Caron Business Solutions
You get regular oil changes for your car. You drag your kids to the dentist every six months. You worry about replacing your roof this summer, even though you know you could probably wait another few years. You are proactive about all the things around you, yet you never focus on yourself...
What about the time you spend working? Do you make the most of it? Doing the books, keeping records, time and billing, working on payroll... and what about that dreaded time we call tax season? How much time do you spend scrunched over your computer, paper covering your desk, pencil in hand, reaching for the Tylenol? If you're like most people, it's probably more than you care to admit.
Once Michelle at Tidy Tiger has done a number on the piles of paper, maybe it's time to learn the most effective ways to use your computer software. Whether you're a larger business running on Accpac, a smaller business using Simply Accounting, or just using Microsoft Excel to keep track of the day-to-day "stuff", chances are you could be using the program more efficiently.
By spending one day in a classroom, learning from Certified Trainers and using hands-on practical examples, you will gain new insight into how to use the tools you already have more successfully. Make the jump from a plain old Excel table to a Pivot Graph. Stop spending time on repetitive tasks, and set up recurring transactions in Simply Accounting. Don't just track your inventory, but control it using Accpac.
You invest in so many things around you, isn't it time you focus on yourself? Don't you think you're worth it? If you're ready to take your knowledge to the next level, check out www.caronbusiness.com/training, or contact Melia at 604-291-6311. Mention this article for 5% off any course.
Imagine the next time you are visiting your mechanic; you witness him using his high-tech diagnostic tool for your car, as a hammer. Wouldn't you ask, "Isn't that a valuable piece of technology that could be put to better use?"
I mean, perhaps the tool works well as a hammer, yet it is capable of so much more, so I think that the mechanic would want to get the most out of it, and leave hammering for a hammer, right?
Now, take a moment to think about your "high-tech" devices, for instance; your computer, the software and any peripherals. They are designed with features and functions that for the most part can make your life easier, if you know how to operate them well.
Take for example, Microsoft Outlook, sure it handles email, yet did you know you can manage tasks and appointments with drag and drop features too? Now consider what can be done with Excel. That simple list of vendor contacts you may have, can be mail-merged to mass mail out letters, emails or labels.
These two examples are just simple features and there are many more to explore. If we never get to use these features or see them in action, we are not even in a position to consider our options. What I have found is that once someone knows what their devices and software are capable of, they can discover doors and solutions never even considered before.
So, you may ask, where to start, to learn more?
One of my first suggestions is to open the software you use the most, or one in which you may have seen or heard others use a lot which you feel will serve your needs best.
Open the “Help” file, then go to the “Table of Contents” and explore.
For devices such as phones and other peripherals, find your manual and do the same.
I know for some, terminology and jargon can seem unfamiliar and intimidating, but don’t let that stop you. We can’t possibly all “know everything” can we? I know business professionals that are experts at what they do yet don’t know half of what their software can do to make their work easier.
When you are exploring, try a few things out that you never did before. Use the experience to get familiar with the style of direction that the information provides so when using again you will be able to go faster.
The last bit of advice I have is to give yourself a little time to learn something everyday and schedule time to review terminology as well.
To your ever increasing productivity!