Professional Organizing Tips and Resources.
To help reduce stress if you have more than you can handle, try reducing your backlog of "stuff" that has built up over time.
I know that it can be easy in today's busy world to build up a backlog of stuff that you want to do, yet our realities are that sometimes we just can't get to everything.
To help you weed out some things that may be growing out of control and overtaking your desk here are 7 items you can start with and the tips on how to weed them out.
1. Messages and Business cards from recent meetings
*Try recording the name and phone number in your planner on the day you intend to call the contact back.
*If you need to update your contact database or Rolodex, create a file named "Contacts to Update" and schedule in some time each week or month to review this file.
*Or, delegate this task to someone else.
2. Notes from Meetings and Staff Memo's
*Right after the meeting grab your planner and schedule any follow up tasks assigned to you.
*Write a quick note as to what the task is in the planner, if there are points and notes that are needed for the task keep those in another place assigned for projects you have on the go or upcoming.
*Toss the extra or unneeded notes, use you planner as the reminder you'll need.
3. A pile of business cards from conference two years ago
*Keep only the cards for people you remember or plan to associate with now or by the next conference.
*File the cards into your association contacts file to have available when the time comes.
*If available use scanning software to make quick work of saving the cards electronically or delegate the task of entering the contacts to your database to someone else.
4. Conference Brochures you may or may not attend
*Record a tentative appointment into your planner. If using an electronic planner, schedule a reminder a week or two before so you can then re-evaluate your need to go or register if required.
*Put the brochure aside into your "Bring Forward" file or a file for "Association Events" or something similar, so that when the day comes you will be able to find it again.
5. Coupons and promotions
*If you really plan to use them keep them handy in your wallet or planner. It is more likely to be used there than if it is just sitting on your desk.
*If there is a deadline and you really want to take advantage of the deal then make an appointment to go and do so.
6. Magazine subscriptions renewal cards
*Ask yourself; are you really interested in renewing or signing up for the magazine? If yes, fill it out and send it in.
*If not; Toss it! Don't worry; the offer will come again.
7. Overstuffed files from projects recently done
*If its on your desk because you want to go through and weed it out before filing away to your archive, then go ahead and file it. Grab your planner and schedule time in to weed these files each month.
*Try releasing that desire to be a perfectionist on this one, it's not going to help you get to the task any quicker when the file is blocking you from getting other things done. Ultimately this just slows the process down even more.
Now, when it comes to tossing the things you don't need as you go along your way through these piles, here are the top 5questions to ask yourself if you are thinking about keeping something:
1. Am I obligated to keep it for tax reasons?
2. Do I need it to fulfill a core activity or role in my job?
3. Would my work suffer if I didn't have it?
4. Is the information up to date and could I get it elsewhere if I need it again?
5. Do I refer often to this information?
If you find yourself overwhelmed with the feeling that you just have to much and too much to do, try these tips for taking control of the paper piles and your tasks.
Need help organizing? Michelle serves the Carleton Place, Lanark County and Ottawa areas.