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Author Archive for Julie Stobbe

Organizing to better manage your time and stress

Is your plate too full?

Do have more on your plate than you can handle?

April Miller of April Miller Professional Organizing once described life like having a plate of food.  Even when it is full we keep putting more food on top.

Let’s think about stress, do you

  • feel overwhelmed by not being able to shut your mind down
  • feel anxious that there is too much to handle
  • feel frustrated because you don’t have control

Think about how you feel in different situations and why you feel that way.  Once you can determine what problems cause your feelings of stress you can start to solve them.

Balance Wheel

Clare Kumar of Streamline your Life has developed a Lifetime Management Wheel.  She has divided time it into 6 areas:

  • Play
  • Purpose – work and volunteering
  • Health – mental physical and spiritual
  • Lifestyle
  • Relationships
  • Development – personal growth and learning

She says to “note your level of satisfaction with each area of your life by giving it a rating of 1 to 10 with 10 being your ideal.”

Now you can see which areas of your life need some attention.  You can tie some of your feelings of stress to certain areas of your life.

Productivity – another way of managing your time

1. Take care of yourself

If you are healthy and happy you will be more motivated and productive. I walk each morning for an hour.  It allows me to start the day with no questions or demands on my time.  I get physical activity and time to reflect.  I can start my day ready for action, whatever that maybe.  What do you do the take care of yourself?

2. Establish repeatable routines and systems.

This helps you to automate things that need to be completed so they become a habit.  I have a “networking bag”.  It has everything I need for going to business meetings, business cards, brochures, marketing material, note pad, pen, cash. I can leave the office quickly for meetings  not forgetting anything and not spending a lot of time looking for items I need to take.  I have a two month meal plan.  I know what groceries I need for the week and what is being cooked for supper.  Then I repeat the plan 6 times, that is a year.  You only have to eat any one item 6 times in 365 days.    Routines and systems will help you to feel in control and have less on your mind reducing your stress.

3. Slow down to become more productive.

About 5% of the population can multitask successfully. Multitasking slows down your productivity because moving from unfinished task to unfinished task means  you need to look back to see where you left off on the previous task and where to start on the new task and all those seconds add up to minutes making you less productive. Finish one task completely and then move onto the next.  There is relief and satisfaction in completing a task reducing anxiety and stress. You also need time to think and reflect on the work you are doing so you can be more intentional and less reactive. You’re in control and less overwhelmed.

4. Work with your personality not against it.

Discover where you are most productive.  It might be in different spaces for different tasks.  When I write I like to be in the kitchen. What time of day do you work best? Do you like it quiet or prefer to have some background noise? There are articles that suggest that if you are trying to brainstorm ideas you have to leave your office and that physical activity helps in brainstorming activities. I have found that 90-15-90-30-90 works for me.  I concentrate on one task for 90 minutes and then do something completely different for 15 minutes.  Then 90 minutes for working on the same task or a new one and 30 minutes doing something completely different and then a 90 minute work session.  Don’t cheat on the breaks.  The breaks help you to remain energized and focused throughout the day.

Fill your plate with only as much as you can bite off and chew.  Enjoy each morsel and spend time ruminating over the experience.  Reflect on what you are doing and what you could be doing more productively.

Send me your tip for increasing your productivity

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 Twitter – https://twitter.com/Julieorganizer

Facebook – http://facebook.com/mindoverclutter/  

Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space https://www.facebook.com/groups/1881280812154271/

Organize Your Valentine’s Gift

What do you have planned for Valentine’s Day?

Looking for that perfect clutter free Valentine’s Day Gift?  One that says:

  • I understand you,
  • I want you to be happy,
  • I want to make your life easier

 

Great Valentine's Ideas

Let’s get organized

Contact Julie if you need help making this happen or buy a gift certificate.

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

What does a professional organizer do?

POC Gold Leaf Member

Perhaps you are familiar with the Professional Organizer industry.  It is an unregulated industry.  Anyone can call themselves a Professional Organizer.  Professional Organizers in Canada  (POC) was established about 17 years ago and the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) the American organization is about 30 years old. Look for organizers listed on these directories.  Most Professional Organizers have their own business and specialize in areas of organizing. As you read their websites you will be able to see their years of experience,  type of training and continuing education.

What happens when I call an organizer?

Usually there is some type of conversation over the phone, Skype or email to discover what type of problem you want solved.  It might be to have a spaced organized, help with moving, develop systems to make things function more smoothly, downsizing, coaching or virtual organizing etc. Then there is a description of how the job will be completed. This is about the only common business practice.  Since we all own our own businesses we have varying ways of continuing.

When you contact Mind over  Clutter:

Can I get an estimate on the cost for the work to be completed?

Most times it is hard to estimate how long a job will take during the conversation.  I offer a free one hour assessment to see what the job entails and give you an idea of how long I think it might take and what we will do.   One of the biggest factors on how long a job will take is how easily and quickly you can make decisions on if items stay or go.  The second factor is, sometimes the job expands to include unforeseen work: filing papers, assembling shelving or bookcases, corners and areas not discussed during the assessment. I work on an hourly rate and offer a package of 10 hours at a reduced rate.

How does it work?

80% of my clients work with me to go through items and decide what will stay and what will be donated or recycled.  Then we discuss the best place and way to store the items so they can be easily found and used. Most clients like to learn  the skill of organizing and so working together helps them to learn where start, how to sort, how to decide what stays and what goes, how to store things in containers and where is the best location to store different types of items.

What if I don’t want to help or can’t help?

If you don’t want to help, I can work alone sorting items based on our conversation on what you want to keep and what you want to donate.  Then I create a donate pile  and a garbage pile and recycle pile.  Nothing leaves the house until you have looked through each pile.  If you can’t help you can sit with me and I can bring you things to do and you can answer my questions.

What if I need some guidance but can do all the work myself?

We can work together virtually.  You show me the space to organize over Skype and I send you a plan and you complete the work.  Here is more information about virtual organizing.  Or I can coach you through the process in a conversation in-person or virtually discussing what you want to accomplish and how you can accomplish it.

What happens with donations and recycling?

At the end of each work session I take the donations.  I will drop them at centers that will take your things.  I can take them to the donation center of your choice too.  I take non-curbside recycling at the end of each session. Usually that includes, batteries, paint cans, small electronics , small appliances, textile recycling, medications, and plastic bags.

Why wouldn’t I just do it myself after the one hour free assessment?

Some people do.  They have enough information and can continue with the job.  Most people feel overwhelmed and stressed by doing it on their own.  They find it easier to work with a professional who can guide them through the problem, help solve it and reduce the stress they feel about the situation. Working with someone makes you block time out for the appointment and helps you to stop putting it off.  It is always more fun working with someone than working alone.

Will you give me homework to do?

Only if you want it.  Some people like to keep going with the work and get it done quickly.  Some people don’t want to work alone or would feel bad if they didn’t get the homework done so I don’t that person anything to do.  There are some tasks that are very time consuming and if you can do it on your own it makes it more cost effective for you, sorting paper, going through books, CDs, VHS tapes, clothing.  However those tasks can be difficult to figure out what to keep and what to donate that you might it better for you to do it with me present.

Please post your questions in the comments.

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 Twitter – @julieorganizer Facebook – http://facebook.com/mindoverclutter/  

Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space https://www.facebook.com/groups/1881280812154271/

Virtual Organizing – who, why, where, what

Who would use virtual organizing services?

For clients who:

  • wish to do the “hands on “organizing themselves
  • are uncertain about someone coming into their home,
  • want a cost effective way to get organized
  • need to manage their organizing appointments to fit a complex schedule
  • need a body double to stay focused

Why would you expand your business to included this service?

Virtual organizing allows organizers to:

  • spend less time driving, the organizer is in their office working with the client online or providing support to the client through prearranged online meetings
  • have clients all around the world
  • keep working with clients that move away
  • move to a new location and  keep working with clients from their previous location
  • transition to less physical organizing while still coaching, teaching, supporting and mentoring clients

What would a virtual organizing session look like

There are probably as many ways to do virtual organizing as there are organizers.  Here are 2 formats.

Format 1 for the DIYers = 3 conversations, a plan, follow up support

To keep the process simple, only one room will be discussed at a time.

The process consists of:

  1. After the client contacts you, book an intake conversation over the phone, Skype or e-mail to describe the process to the client.   Have the client send you photos or a video so you understand their situation clearly and to use them as reference
  2. Book a Virtual Appointment using Skype, Face Time, Google Hangouts or Facebook to see the room and discuss the client’s organizing goals.
  3. Develop a step by step plan and send them their customized organizing plan
  4. After they have had time to read the plan, book a virtual  question and answer session to allow the client to clarify the plan and establish a timeline for the project.

Once a timeline has been established for the project one of two follow up options may be selected.

Support Option A – This works well for people who manage their time well and are motivated to get the job done. 

The client will work on the project and e-mails pictures or sets up a Skype call as needed to help:

  • solve problems,
  • clarify the next step,
  • receive storage suggestions.
  • receive donation and recycling information.

 Support Option B – This works well for people who are easily distracted or procrastinate in getting the space organized.

  • The client will e-mail the day and time they will be working on the job.
  • You will e-mail, Skype, text or call each hour to see what assistance they need in order to successfully complete the work scheduled for that day.

In Format 1 most of your time is spent on the process of building the customized plan.  Set limits on how long the Intake Conversation, Virtual Appointment and Virtual Q & A will last. The billing  for the plan will include the time spent on the 3 conversation and the time to write the plan.  You will also be billing for support options.  You may want the client to pay a retainer that covers a specific number of minutes or hours.  If they need a lot of support they can purchase additional retainers.  If they don’t use all the minutes they purchased, reimburse them.

Format 2 for the Body Double Clients = This process is very similar to working with the client in person. 

  1. After the client contacts you, book an intake conversation over the phone, Skype or e-mail to describe the process to the client.   Have the client send you photos or a video so you understand their situation clearly and to use them as reference.
  2. Book a Virtual Appointment using Skype, Face Time, Google Hangouts or Facebook to see the room and discuss the client’s organizing goals and begin organizing. You will be on your computer for the entire length of the appointment.  You will be their body double teaching them skills, keeping them focused and supporting them. Coach them through the process of sorting, reducing, establishing a space to store things, containers to use and evaluating if they met their goals for the session.  The sessions may include: where to donate items, how to sell items, where to recycle items and any services you would like to include in the package.
  3. Book the next appointment and continue working with the client until the job is completed.

Billing for Format 2 is simple.  Determine what your virtual organizing hourly rate is and bill them for the number of hours you worked together.

You don’t need to limit your virtual organizing to rooms.  I have done a virtual time management session with a client.

If you want to discuss these formats, contact me and let’s learn from each other.  

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 

Time management for children

Time to schedule, words on blank board hold by a young girl in the outdoor.

Scheduling helps everyone to understand what needs to be done and when it needs to be completed.

Weekly Agenda Page

 like to develop a weekly agenda page for each child in the family.  They have their own page posted on the refrigerator or bulletin board. 

Record all Weekly Activities – School, Home and Extra Curricular

At the beginning of each week, I record all their activities, music lessons, group activities, sports, etc.  I also record their special activities at school so they remember to bring library looks, physical education clothing, and musical instruments.  It also includes any chores that they have to do around the house.  If you prepare it on the computer, many things don’t change from week to week.

Record Additional Activities for the Week – Test, Projects, Parties

The children will add to the page, tests and projects that have been assigned at school.  Before they can play, watch TV or have screen time they have to complete everything on their list.  If you start this habit for them when they are young, it teaches them how to organize their time.  You will be helping to instill in them a habit that will last them a life time.

   

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Library books Physical education Class trip   violin
Practice piano Girl Guides Collect garbage Skating  Birthday Party at Susie’s
Set table Empty dishwasher


Paper or an App

I like paper because I can see everyone’s week at a glace without switching between screens and accounts.  But if you enjoy technology because you can access information from anywhere at anytime try Choice Works for scheduling with your children’s activities.  It allows you to select activities and list them by picture for non reading children or in words. 

A Students Guide to Effective Time Management

Thanks to Amy and Peyton for sending me this article for young adults entering college and university. This article has many helpful tips to help you be successful at school : A Students Guide to Effective Time Management 

Time management is about finding a system that works for you and your children to make life easier.  Please leave a comment about agendas, systems and apps that you use. 

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca 

Twitter – @julieorganizer Facebook – http://facebook.com/mindoverclutter/  

Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space https://www.facebook.com/groups/1881280812154271/

Top 10 productivity time killers

Carolyn Shannon is my guest blogger today.  Her business Venting Creatively helps people to find creative ways to shine a light on their life from a different view.  She runs a monthly  networking group called BEE Niagara and publishes a magazine call Women of Worth magazine.

Being productive leaves time for the things that are important to you

Top 10 Productivity Time Killers

Everyday countless hours are wasted away due to non-productive activities. Time is money, so when distractions and procrastination sets in profitability will decline. A survey conducted by OfficeTime.net has revealed 10 of the biggest time killers. The main offenders that reduce of our productivity are:

1. Emails

2. Surfing the net

3. Watching TV

4. Procrastination

5. Meetings

6. Non-business conversations

7. Commuting & travel time

8. Social networking

9. Cell Phones & texting

10. Dealing with red tape

Types of Time Wasting

There are many factors that lead to procrastination. There are a few broad categories that most time wasting falls into.

1. Indecision.

Perfectionists will often struggle with indecision. Some things may never become perfect, and putting too much focus on perfection will mean too much time spent on one job. Splitting the work into smaller tasks is one way to deal with it more effectively.

2. Avoidance.

A fear of being judged can be the main cause of procrastination. It could be fear of failure or even success. Neither of these are something to be ashamed of. Success should be celebrated, and failure is the best way or learning. Think less about what others may think and more on trying your best at the task on hand.

3. Thrill Seeking.

This is when procrastination is justified because the worker likes the thrill of an approaching deadline. If this is the case it is best to move deadlines closer and set personal targets. This still gets you the thrill of working against the clock, while reducing procrastination.

How to Put an End to Time Killers

The first step to battling time killers is to understand and appreciate the amount of time that is being wasted. What is the value of all that lost time? Time wasters will directly affect your career advancement opportunities and reduce the amount of income you could have received.Tracking where your time is spent will allow for efficient time management. Don’t just rely on your memory to remember what you did during the day. Use a system so that you have a written record that can be looked over and analyzed. This could be as simple as creating a timetable on a piece of paper, or utilizing a computer program or app to record your daily activities. Cutting down on time killers is a good start, but there are other strategies that should be used to effectively manage your time:

1. Define your purpose.

You need to know exactly what you want when starting on a task. Without a definite purpose you will lose focus.

2. Smart goal setting.

Choose realistic and specific goals and targets. It should be measurable so you know when it has been completed.

3. Plan on a regular basis.

As factors change, you plan should be adjusted to reflect the reality of the situation.

To truly beat time killers you need to work on your mindset & stick to your plan for the long-term.

Which type of Time Waster Are You?

1. Thrill Seekers

They feel they can procrastinate, as they enjoy the feeling of working against a deadline

Tip: constantly set and adjust deadlines so that you still get the adrenaline rush but are using your time more effectively than procrastinating

2. Avoiders

They prefer to procrastinate as a means to avoid being judged. Whether it is a success or a failure

Tip: Success is a good thing and nothing to be ashamed of. Failure is a way to learn and improve. Focus on doing the best job you can and not on what others think.

3. Indecisive people

They are often perfectionists but procrastinate to shift responsibility from themselves

Tip: Not everything has to be perfect so try to take small risks and use your intuition. Mistakes may mean you learn something new. Try to split the task up into more manageable parts.

Need help setting new patterns and mindsets this year contact me.  I can work with you in person or virtually to help you become more productive and have time for the things that are important to you. 

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 Twitter – @julieorganizer Facebook – http://facebook.com/mindoverclutter/  

Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space https://www.facebook.com/groups/1881280812154271/

 

Preparing for the holidays

Here are some tips for holiday planning to make a H A P P Y month.

Holiday Decorating

You maybe feeling overwhelmed or disorganized by the quantity of items on display in your house.  Try putting the non-seasonal items away to reduce the number of items on display.

Keep decorations simple

Decorate with flowers

Think about decorating with fewer items but larger size items.  This means there are fewer items to pack and unpack which will reduces the amount of time you need to prepare your home.

Take advantage of using linens to cover tables or end table and pillows to decorate couches.  They may be less bulky to store and cover a larger area making your home seem completely decorated while taking less time to get the job done.

Use items that self destruct so you don’t need to pack them away, flowers, paper towels, tissue boxes all give your house a festival spirit but don’t need to be packed away and stored.

When you go through your decorations part with the ones you know longer need early in the month so thrift store have an opportunity to sell them and so they don’t need to store them until next year.  Some stores don’t take holiday décor in January and then you will be stuck storing them for another year.

 Accept Help

Acknowledge that you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed and when people offer to do things say yes.  We all love to help people so let people feel good about themselves by allowing them to help you.

If people volunteer to bring food to a party accept gratefully.  Allow people to help clean up dishes on their way out the door.  In fact be ready for it.  Have a place to put cutlery to soak.  Have out a container for compost.  Put glasses or coffee mugs directly into the dishwasher.

Planning is important

Use a to do list. Divide your to do list into to pick up, to e-mail, to call, to buy then you can plan your day and route to get things done and not be driving back and forth all over town.  The trick here is to actually look at the list and use it not just make it.

Keep your plans from year to year, record your menu, grocery list quantities, time lines.  Each year you can reuse, revise and update the plan

 People and relationships are the reason for the season

Some people like to send cards in December.  I keep my cards and addresses and stamps all together.  When I am going somewhere where I will be waiting I pick up the supplies and take them along and write my cards.  I have done it at hockey rinks, doctor’s offices, bus stations and on car trips.  I usually leave replies to someone who has sent me a longer letter until January.

Use your spare moments to write cards

If you want to automate the card sending operation there is a company called send out cards.

Gift giving maybe an area where you are developing a system. Have you thought about Clutter free gift giving?

Consider the idea of a gift that self destructs.  See my post on Clutter Free Gift Giving

Yes You Can

Yes you can 

Being organized is more about an attitude then how something looks.  It is not about having the perfect home, party or gift it is doing the best you can with   the time and resources that you have. The only way to get better at organizing is to practice. It is a skill that can be learned and with practice it becomes easier and     easier.

Join my Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space 

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

Organize your clutter free gift giving list

There are many considerations when trying to purchase the perfect present. Sometimes the person has everything.  Some people may feel that they have enough stuff and they don’t want to have to decide how to store more items. Some people feel that they need to keep everything they are given whether they need it or like it or can use it. They are afraid of hurting the giver’s feelings.  It may feel like an impossible mission.  Consider the idea of a gift that self destructs

Give tickets to an event

Sporting, theatre, art gallery exhibit, musical event.  Give them tickets so it won’t be a gift card that they file or lose.  Most performances will allow tickets to be exchanged for a different date. Try giving tickets to a Toronto Rock Lacrosse game.  It is an experience, reasonably prices and you get to see the Air Canada Center. You can support your local community by purchasing tickets to a little theatre production, hockey tickets.  Give them the gift of entertainment.

Rent a sports venue

It can be an hour of ice time, indoor soccer, indoor tennis and indoor golf.  This type of gift usually gets people together to socialize and be active.  It is a gift of physical and emotional health.

Lessons

You can give lessons to a person.  Art lessons, wine tasting, golfing, scuba diving, music, craft, beading, the ideas are limitless.  It can be one lesson or a group of lessons. Give the gift of a new experience.

Food

Give a gift of a meal, prepared by you for them on a mutually agreed date.  You may want to give them a batch of muffins every month or whatever their favourite food is.  People enjoy receiving homemade Christmas cookies or a fruit plate.  You can go on line and search COOKIES in a Jar.  The recipient of the cookie mix adds water or milk and bakes the cookies. Give the gift of sharing your time with others.

A service

Someone may enjoy being relieved of performing a tedious job.  Arrange for a cleaning service, professional organizer, snow removal, lawn care.  Give them the gift of time for themselves.

Professional Organizing Services

Charities

There are many charities that can benefits from donations.  Select a charity and make a donation in the name of the person.    Look at one aspect of the person’s life and try to find a charity that represents their interests. Give them the gift of generosity.

Give the gift of Fun

One year a group of us rented a hot tub for a week and shared the use of it. Another year I bought rocket kits for everyone, we built the kits and shot off the rockets

Here are a few gifts that are clutter free, personal and thoughtful but the ideas are endless.

 Join my  Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space 

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

4 organizing tips to improve your entrance way

Controlling the clutter at the entrance to your home can be a huge challenge.

Colorful clothing on coat hooks

Vary the height of hook and shelves

1. Place hooks low enough that everyone can hang up his or her own coats, sweaters, and jackets.

2. Establish a space that can be reached without help for each person’s backpack or gym bag.  This could be a shelf, cupboard or hook.

Mount shelves at different heights for each person in the household.

Mount shelves at different heights for each person in the household.

Designate a place for footwear

3. Have enough space near the entrance for shoes that are used regularly.  Buy stackable shoe racks and use vertical space efficiently.  Footwear worn occasionally should be stored elsewhere and brought out as needed.

Use vertical space to prevent footwear form sprawling all over the entry way

Use vertical space to prevent footwear from sprawling all over the entry way

Use a shoe organizer to store your hats,gloves,sunscreen 

4. Have a place for seasonal hats, gloves and scarves.  A hanging shoe organizer is ideal for this purpose.  Put regularly-worn hats, scarves and pairs of gloves into the pockets, where you can easily see each item and quickly select what you need.   Storing hats, mitts and scarves directly with a jacket also helps to keep everything together.

 

Use a shoe organzer to hold hats in the closet

Use a shoe organizer to hold hats in the closet

What is the biggest problem in your front entrance way? Let me know, I might have a solution for you.

Join my Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space 

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 

Organize your desk to make the impression you are a leader

Do you want your desk to say you are a leader, hard worker, creative? Could your desk say that you are messy, boring, behind the times? Let your workspace be your business card.  You may have a physical office or a portable office, organize it to suit your needs so you can work efficiently, show your clients that you are knowledgeable and a leader in your field.

This mobile work station can help to keep your work organized

Technology

Use technology that helps you accomplish your business.  Having state of the art technology that you don’t understand and can’t use competently  or having outdated technology will give  your clients the wrong  impression .  Purchase the technology that is right for you and  your budget. Don’t fall into the trap of buying technology that is more powerful than you need to make a “good” impression. Clients may feel like your  are showing off. Show your clients that you are knowledgeable, prepared appropriately and ready to lead them through the task at hand.

Desk Photo /  Screen Saver

Use a photo that lets your clients learn something new about you. Make yourself memorable to your clients. Make sure it is in good taste, you want to make a professional impression on your potential clients.  Be authentic not boring. An interesting screen saver on your laptop will have the same effect.   

Business Cards

Have them close at hand so you can give them out at the appropriate time.  You don’t want people to take them because they feel obligated, you want them to have them because they are interested in you.  Make sure your business card is professionally designed.  If you want to show you are a leader don’t use the free sites.  Make sure they are readable, scanable, classic and interesting.   Good supplies show that you value quality and  do quality work.

Piles on Your Desk / Piles of Paper in your Bag

This relates to your organizing style.  Too many piles gives the impression you are behind in your work and may not able to help your clients in a timely manner.  The perfect office will make some clients feel uncomfortable because they will feel like they are not good enough to work with you.  Determine how you function best, piles, filing cabinets, trays, desktoppers.  Remember to keep loose papers neatly piled or stored in the way that works best for you. Lead by example, if you are prepared to work then others follow your work ethic making it easier to accomplish the job on time.

Lighting

When you enter your office is it dark and stark or bright and light? What does that say about you?  I don’t care, I don’t notice details or  I am open and I want you to be comfortable.  Adding lighting to your office can make the space more inviting, interesting and make it easier for clients to read information.  If you are dealing with an older population eyesight can be declining. Good lighting makes it easier for them to engage with the information.  The more ways you show your clients you understand their needs the more likely they are to trust that you are an expert.

Books

Keep up with popular books in your industry, even if you don’t find them interesting.   Your clients may ask you about them.  You want to be able to make a  comment that helps them to understand the value in the book or article. You can also display a few books to show your clients that you have diverse interests in intriguing  topics.  It shows them that you like to expand your knowledge.  Leaders develop many skills not just the ones directly related to their business. Skills and knowledge learned from others make you a better leader.

Pictures on the Wall

Displaying your certification and education reassures clients of your expertise.  But a wall full of outdated certificates may not give the best impression.  Have a couple that show your current accomplishments. You want your clients to know you value education and keeping current is important.

Try to Avoid

  1. Leaving your unfinished lunch on display
  2. Having your desk cluttered with staplers, pens, tape dispenser, post it notes, etc.  Keep them in your desk drawer or in a box.  Have your desk say that your a leader and expert.
  3. Silly objects, you are trying to show your clients that you are a leader not the funny one.

Join my Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space   or follow me on Twitter @julieorganizer

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 

 

 

Residential Organizing Services for the Region of Niagara, Hamilton, Halton-Peel and Surrounding Area