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Archive for Office Organizing

Organize Your Work Schedule with an Interruption-Free Hour

Many people realize that multitasking is not the best way to get work completed.  However they experience many small interruptions in their day, e-mail, texting and phone calls that take away from concentrating on a project.

These small tasks, added together, use up your work day.

“Drive by” conversations, when  colleagues  stop by your desk or stop you in the hall and give you information also take time away from important tasks to be completed. As well the information may be forgotten or lost.

Being interrupted by colleagues stoppingto chat can cost you a lot of valuable time.

Some offices have designated a specific time of the day for working on projects. It is an interruption free time to concentrate on work during which employees can’t send or answer emails, texts, phone calls, attend meetings, etc.  Each office is different so the designated time maybe office wide or scheduled into each person’s work day, week, or month individually.  It is important that this time and format is respected by your colleagues and supported by management.  You maybe surprised how much you can get done in one hour with no interruptions and your full concentration on one task at a time.

Contact Julie at Mind over Clutter to come and speak at your office.

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

Need a New Style Binder for Organizing?

Samsill  2-in-1 and 3-in-1 Organizers

Samsill  has a 2-in-1 organizer and a 3-in 1-organizer.   They are binders with a section of 7 clear plastic accordion style dividers and a fold-over cover with an elastic closure to hold the organizer closed.  They come in a variety of colours.

1 Inch 3 Ring Binder + 7 Pocket Accordion Style Expanding File + Hanging File -

1 Inch 3 Ring Binder + 7 Pocket Accordion Style Expanding File + Hanging File –

There are very few differences between the 2 products.  The 3 in 1 organizer has 4 slide out clips that allows you to hang the binder in your filing cabinet.  The clips lock into position making it easy to use them. This function makes storing the files neat, tidy and easy to retrieve.  No more shelves of binders that slide and tip over every time you remove one.

The binder has clips to hang in a filing drawer.

The binder has clips to hang in a filing drawer.

 

The 2-in-1 organizer has tabs on the top of each file section making it easy for labelling. It also has 2 elastic closures so you can open just the file section or just the binder section.  This is helpful as it prevents any loose papers from falling out when you open the binder section.

In addition to the clips to hang it in a filing cabinet, the 3-in-1 organizer has tabs only on 3 file sections for easy labelling and one elastic closure.

The fold over lid is quite stiff and initially caused me some problem but if you fold it open and re-crease the fold the lid will stay back and make it easy to access the plastic file section.  The files hold paper that is exactly 8 ½  by 11 inches.  If you have manuals or slightly large paperwork you may need to trim it.

Fold over lid keeps document secure.

Fold over lid keeps document secure.

At first you may be fooled and think the elastic closure won`t stay closed because the elastic is loose. The elastic closure works well when the organizer contains paperwork making the elastic tighter.

The elastic closure hooks securely onto the front of the binder

The elastic closure hooks securely onto the front of the binder

The file sections are open at the bottom edge, it is not a pocket.  Some small items may slide under the edge and into the next section.  If this is a problem for you try using an envelope to hold small items in the file section. The dividers are flexible and bend slightly making it is hard to get paper to slide easily into the correct section.  As you get used to it and you have more paper in the sections it becomes quite easy to use.

This may be the perfect product if you have large client files.  You can record your ongoing notes, to do lists, reference information in the binder section and use the file section for billing, receipts, marketing material, information to give to the client, calculator, and ipad.etc.  It would also be a great networking tool.  You can have a place for notes, following up with clients after a meeting, recording upcoming events and to do lists and file all your marketing material. It would always be ready to go when a networking event arises.   Having the binder and file system in one organizer gives you the flexibly of storing paperwork in the way that suits your preferred style and the paper best. You can pick it up and go and look like you are ready to work.

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices. 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  www.mindoverclutter.ca

Do you need organizing solutions for your home office?

MIND OVER CLUTTER is offering a free 30-minute Virtual Organizing Session.

Mind over Clutter logoHere’s how it works:

1. We book a virtual appointment with video chat: Skype, Face Time, Google Hangout, Facebook video or send me photos or a video and chat on the telephone
2. You show me your home office.
3. I recommend solutions for  your organizing dilemmas.

Contact me to take advantage of this free introductory offer via JULIE@MINDOVERCLUTTER.CA

Is it Possible- Family and Running A Business?

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

Scheduling helps you to use your time in blocks and avoid scattering single tasks throughout the day leaving small segments of unproductive time.

My tip for moms running their businesses from home is about time management.

Running a business and organizing a household is a complex task.  Time management is the key to success and sanity.  Scheduling everything will help:

  • tasks to get completed,
  • commitments to be honoured
  • and make arriving ontime possible

However scheduling everything can be overwhelming initially.  Start by using only one calendar, paper or electronic, for all the activities in your schedule. Try a “clearing your mind” task.  This involves writing down everything you have to do.  Record one task per line on your paper or one  task per entry until you have everything recorded.  Include, exercise, work appointments, social commitments, bill payments, household tasks, children’s commitments, social media, doctor appointments, marketing, networking, trip to the park, birthday parties etc.  After you have them recorded, go back to the top of your list and write the date and time (schedule) when you will complete the task.  Put all of these dates on your calendar remember to include travel time when you schedule tasks.  As you look at your calendar you will be able to determine how much time you have each day, month and year available for the activities that are important to your life, family and business.  It will help to put time into perspective and help determine why you might be feeling:

  • overwhelmed
  • overworked
  • bored
  • tired
  • successful
  • energized
  • excited
  • frustrated

Once you start to schedule everything, it will become easier because many of the entries will be recurring each day, week, month or year.  They will be in your calendar and only new items will need to be add to your schedule.  This will provide a structure that you can rely on to help you with the complex task of running a business and organizing a household.

 

Making Networking Work for You

There are many networking groups available to business people to make connections with potential clients and Meet with others to build relationshipsbusinesses.  Groups meet for breakfast, lunch or supper.  Some groups have an educational component.  Most networking groups are based on building relationships with the members in the group so to be successful choose a group that you can attend regularly for two years.  If you are looking for a networking group go to the Meetup.com site to find a group in your area.

Networking can happening at breakfast lunch or supper meetings

Some people do find that they don’t have enough time in their day to exercise.  Here are 2 ways to combine networking and exercise.

1. Netwalking – Instead of meeting for a coffee , meet while walking.  During the good weather walk outside during cooler weather walk inside on tracks, malls hallways.  Most malls open early and have mall walking programs.

Netwalking

2. Sweatworking – Fitness clubs are starting networking groups.  In this environment you naturally have a common interest, health exercise. This is a  more relaxed atmosphere to build relationships with other networkers.  Here is a great article describing  sweatworking. http://www.forbes.com/sites/learnvest/2015/06/01/sweatworking-the-new-way-to-advance-your-career/2/

Networking while exercising

 

E-mail Running your LIfe?

Are you so distracted by e-mail that you can’t get anything done?

1.  Turn off the audio reminder of e-mail arriving in your inbox so you won’t be distracted from the task you are trying to complete.

2. Set aside two or three specific times of the day to check your e-mail and respond to quick items with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’.  Schedule, in your agenda, longer e-mails to be answered when you have more time.

3.  Cut down on the number of lists and newsletters you subscribe to.  They are just like magazines that lie around waiting to be read and creating a feeling of stress in you.

4.  Keep your inbox empty by creating folders to store receipts, orders, invitation, information etc.

5.  Don’t respond to e-mails from companies and people you don’t know.  Don’t respond to any e-mail asking for or giving you money.

To much email can be harmful

Schedule 2 or 3 times each day to look at e-mail

Active Office

Move more, Sit less

An active office has a standing area, sitting desk and whiteboard

Stand up Sit less Move more

An active office is defined as a workplace design concept that proposes an integrated supportive environment, which aims at the reduction of sedentary behaviors and promotion of a physically active work processes that are characterized by regular changes between different work-related tasks, workstations, and working postures.

 Active Workstation Design

It involves an ergonomically designed workspace that integrates traditional desk workstation with elements such as active seats, standing desks, and whiteboards that, can be used while sitting or standing, to form an interconnected workplace environment .

Studies are showing that it is transitioning from one position to another that is good for your health; it activates muscle contraction and circulation.

Studies suggest that transitions between sitting and standing be made every 30 minutes.

This is a link to a great article http://mi-lab.org/files/2012/02/ActiveOffice-final.pdf 

Top 10 Productivity Time Killers

Carolyn Shannon is my guest blogger today.  Her business Venting Creatively.com  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.com and publishes a magazine call Women of Worth  http://www.womenofworthmagazine.com

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 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 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 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.

How to not become a victim of identity theft

Beware of the location of personal information

Here are some tips from Crime Stoppers published May 13, 2013

An estimated 10 million people each year become victims of identity theft. There are things each of us can do to help prevent becoming one.

  • Try not to leave mail in your mailbox for long.
  • When sending mail out that contains any kind of account information, it’s best to drop it off directly into a postal box rather than leave it in your mailbox for your carrier.
  • Pay attention to when your regular bills or account statements are due to arrive and follow up if they are late. Thieves have been known to submit “change of address” forms to divert mailings. Your account information, including utilities, can then be used to set up phony accounts in your name or run up charges.
  • Virtually any document containing more personal identifiers than your name and address can be used by an identity thief and should be shredded. It can be stolen from your purse or wallet, your trash or even your home.
  • Be mindful of where you place bank and credit card statements within your residence if you employ outside help or are having work done inside.
  • When you are required or asked by a company to provide your Social Insurance number, don’t be afraid to ask why they need it and what their policy is to protect it. Businesses are required by law to properly dispose of your personal information.

For more information, visit MichianaCrimeStoppers.com

Filing Options

1. Traditional filing Cabinet

Filing cabinets come in many sizes and colours to suit your style

2. Binders – use binders and dividers to file papers for example, household bills, bank statements, warranties etc

This is a sample, change the titles to suit your system.

3 Rolling Crates/ File boxes on Wheels. – use hanging folders and file folders the advantage to this is you can take them to whatever room you want and the top is open so you can see the files easily.

Crates make your files portable

Crates on wheels make it easy to store away and then move close to your desk

4. Expandable files – use one for each category household bills and income tax, financial and insurance, warranties, 4 more one for each member of the family to store papers relating to them, report cards, immunization, passport and other documents, certificates etc

5. Magazine holders have a holder for each category of paper you need to file.

Magazine folders come in many colours.

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