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Archive for Business

5 Spring cleaning and organizing tips for your home office

Spring cleaning your home office can lead you in many directions.  Perhaps:

  • your inbox is inundated,
  • your files are filled or
  • your time management is missing.

You need to start somewhere so let’s start with the S.P.A.C.E. that houses your office.

Look around your office and start:

1. Sorting the items that are visible into groups of papers, books, office supplies, client files, product, advertising materials etc.

Start with the visible clutter first.

2. Pair down each pile to the items that are current and recycle or shred the rest.

3. Assign a convenient place to store your resources.  If you use them often keep them near your desk, if they are used infrequently store them further way but still in your office.  If they are never referred to but needed for tax or legal purposes they can be stored in another room.

4. Take each of those piles and select the best Container for keeping the items organized, binders, magazine holder, bins, boxes etc.

 

Organize with binders

Organize with bins

Organizing for the person who likes to see everything, the visual person

 

 

5. Evaluate your new S.P.A.C.E.to make sure it will help you be more efficient, productive and profitable this year.

 

 

Share one of your office organizing tips in the comment box.

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 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

Paper or Electronic To Do Lists, What Keeps You Organized?

Check Your List

People have tried to find electronic solutions for most things that used to be done by paper.  However would a paper To Do list work better for you than an electronic one?  Here is a thought provoking blog post on the topic.  Which ever system works best for you, you must check your list. People will make lists but not look at them.  Use a system that keeps your to do list on your mind.

Why the Old-School Paper To-Do List Is Superior as a Productivity Tool (& How to Make It Work for You in Under 5 Minutes)
 There are lots of styles of To Do Lists, let me help you find the one the works for you during an in person or virtual appointment.

 

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

Need Help Virtually all the Time?

Virtual Assistants are a profession that supply businesses with help in areas where the owner can’t or doesn’t want to do certain tasks.  This allows the owner to do the work that they are good at and hire a Virtual Assistant for as many hours as they need or can afford.

Janet Barclay of Organized Assistant  www.organizedassistant.com is a fantastic Virtual Assistant.  She specializes in website design and social media.  She designed my first website 7 years ago and redesign my new responsive wordpress website last year.  She takes care of hosting the site and letting me know what directories I might want my site on in addition to the directories she  has already used.  She is a wealth of information and  will answer my questions quickly and clearly.

An Organized Assistant can help you virtually all the time

An Organized Assistant can help you virtually all the time

She also is a blogger.  She runs Blogging Organizers for, yes, Professional Organizers who blog and Professional Organizers Blog Carnival. This blog has a different topic each month and contains lots of information for the public, submitted by Professional Organizers.  Her current topic is Organizing Basements and Attics  http://organizedassistant.com/organizing-basements-and-attics-professional-organizers-blog-carnival/  She helps the industry and Professionals Organizer become better known to the public.  If you are in a specific industry, look at her blogs and how she is helping the industry to grow, increasing her visibility  and helping other people in the industry.  It is a great model to explore if you want to become a leader  in your industry and love blogging.

Janet is an expert in social media.  She will do newletters, post on sites or teach you how to do it.  If you want to increase your visibility and need help with any platform use a Virtual Assistant to help you.

There are many Virtual Assistants who each specialize in different areas,

  • bookkeeping,
  • social media,
  • web cast videos,
  • specific software programs. etc.

Janet facilitates the Golden Horseshoe Virtual Assistants Association www.GHVA.ca .  Check out this site if you need help virtually all the time.

 

 

Interested in Starting a Business?

If you are interested in starting your own home based business,how to start a home-based…. is a great series of books. They  contain information about the field of business, clients and practical materials such as forms.  Some of the books in this series are Computer Repair Business, Personal Chef Business, Interior Design Business and Professional Organizing Business.

how to start a home based Professional Organizing Business

Great series of books for information on how to start a business

how to start a home-based Professional Organizing Business has sections on:

  • helping you to decide if Professional Organizing is for you,
  • setting up your office,
  • finding and working with clients,
  • products and
  • forms

For approximately $20.00 you will have enough information to confidently start your business.  The books contains a script for the first  phone conversation with a new client. This is very helpful especially with your very first client.   It has sections on setting your rate and a number of different ways to charge along with the pros and cons of each ways.  The book lists a number of ways to market your business.

Along with the business side of Professional Organizing  half the book contains skills and information a person needs to be a competent organizer.  It teaches the the psychology of clutter, why areas become disorganized, how to declutter a space and products to use to organize a client.

The section containing forms is very helpful and they are easy to customize to your own business.  There are assessment forms, invoices,mileage records, marketing plan sheets etc.

This book is written by  Professional Organizer Dawn Noble.  It is easy to read and use.

If you want to start a business see if this series contains a book that could help you be successful.

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

5 Tips for Keeping Your Vehicle Organized

Vehicles are used as mobile offices, restaurants, entertainment centers, locker rooms and homework stations.  Keeping a car clean can be easy.  Here are 5 tips to help you organize your vehicle.

1. Have a plastic garbage bag in the front and back seats of your vehicle.  It can be hooked on the headrest or armrest.  Make sure all garbage is put in the bag and not all over the floor.  When the bag gets full unhook it and put it in your garbage can on the way into the house.

 

 

A plastic garbage bag can be hooked on armrests.

A plastic garbage bag can be hooked on armrests.

Place a garbage bag in the back seat by hanging it over the head rest.

Place a garbage bag in the back seat by hanging it over the head rest.

A garbage bag can be anywhere in the car, just make sure it is used.

A garbage bag can be anywhere in the car, just make sure it is used.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. If you have a young child keep a backpack ready at the door to take with you in the car.  Fill it with things your child can use to entertain themselves.  When you arrive at home put everything back in the back and bring it in the house.  This prevents toys, papers and video games from being left all over the car.

3. Cup holders are a great invention.  Put a clean tall cup in the holder and use it to hold pens, pencil crayons, small toys, notes, papers, snacks. It will help to keep items confined to a space and prevent them from being lost in the vehicle.

 

Organize your change to make it easy to get into your hand or to take out of the car.

Use a cup for your change. it will be easier to retrieve your change . Keep the cup in your cup holder.

Organize your snack in you cup holder

Bring snacks from home and keep them in your cup holder

Organize children's toys in cupholders

Use a cup holder for children’s toys

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. If you use your car for an office try using a bin, box, bag to contain all your supplies.  There are a number of portable offices organizers available or make one that is personalized for your situation.

 

use any container and make a car office organizer

Customize your own portable office for your specific needs

Office organizer for the front seat of the vehicle

This organizer keeps the seat clear for items while organizing your office supplies

Portable office organizer for the car

This office organizer attaches to the seat so it won’t end up on the floor of your vehicle

This is a portable office that can easily be taken with you to the car, meetings, library or hockey arena

This is a portable office that can easily be taken with you to the car, meetings, library or hockey arena

This mobile work station can help to keep your work organized

This mobile work station can help to keep your work organized

 

5 .Keep disposable wet wipes in the glove compartment for quick clean ups and  always take everything out of the vehicle when you arrive at home.  Use the car door pockets and seat back pockets for items that permanently stay in the car.   If you start with a clean vehicle on every trip it is easier to keep it clean.

 

Prevent messy build up in your car.

Take everything out of the car each time you arrive at home.

Keep disposable wet wipes for quick clean ups of spilled drinks, and dirty hands.

Keep disposable wet wipes for quick clean ups of spilled drinks, and dirty hands.

 

Cleaning up after every trip for a few minutes prevents needing lots of time to clean your vehicle later.

Be ready to jump in your car and go and enjoy your trip, short or long

Understanding Sleep Cycles and Time Management can improve your Productivity

Some people say they don’t need very much sleep.  Recently a super sleep gene was found.  Only about 5% of people have it.  It allows their body to cycle through the REM and non REM sleep cycles more quickly so the person feels more rested in a shorter amount of time. Unfortunately about 30% of people report only needing 4 hours of sleep a night.  So about 25% of those people would benefit from more sleep. Harold Taylor is a time management expert.  He publishes a newsletter, Taylor Time Newsletter.  The August edition has a great article on sleep and time management.

BY Harold Taylor Work Smarter is more about Timing then Technology

When we sleep, we do so in approximately 90-minute cycles throughout the night, each cycle consisting of five stages – four stages of non-REM sleep (about 75% to 80% of our sleep time) and one stage of REM sleep (about 20% to 25% of our sleep time.)

The first REM stage begins about 90 minutes into our sleep and then the cycle begins again about every 90 minutes until we wake up.

What most people don’t realize is that these 90-minute “sleep cycles” run through the entire day. We obviously don’t sleep during the day if we have slept sufficiently during the night, but the cycles become waves of high and low energy and are referred to as ultradian rhythms.  Our internal clocks are critical to our personal performance as well as our health and well-being. Our body has many internal “clocks,” each operating independently but in constant communication with one another.

In a few of my books and articles and all of my seminars, I talk about scheduling projects in 90 minute segments. (See “The 90-minute Rule of Scheduling” in chapter 6 of my eBook, Time to be Productive CLICK HERE for a free copy)

I have always known that I was more productive working in sixty or ninety-minute chunks of time, and I suggested all kinds of reasons for it – such as it was the maximum amount of time I could work without having to be interrupted or even interrupting myself. But I never knew until recently that ultradian waves of high and low alertness had actually been identified. One study of young violinists back in 1993 revealed that the best violinists all practiced the same way – in the morning in three segments of no more than 90 minutes with a break between each segment. The same thing was noticed among other musicians as well as athletes, chess players and writers.

I recommend that people find their high energy time in the morning and start working on their top priority items for about 90 minutes. Then take a break of about 15 or 20 minutes before starting the next task. Following the second 90-minute work session there should be a break of at least an hour before resuming. (This could be lunch and a brief walk.) It will take time to get into the right pattern. You have to listen to your body to determine the best start time and the actual duration of your high-alertness cycle.

You don’t necessarily have to take a coffee break, go for a walk or do stretches during your breaks as long as you switch to a different type of task. There are three basic types of activity – mental, physical and emotional. If you have been working on a mental task requiring intense concentration such as writing a business proposal, a switch to cleaning your work area, filing or checking messages on Twitter or Facebook for twenty minutes might be just as relaxing to the mind as a twenty minute chat at the coffee centre.

The problem is that people have been fighting their natural body rhythms by feeding it coffee and other stimulants, and therefore developing inefficient working habits. They have likewise short-circuited their natural sleep cycles with late nights, artificial lighting and stimulating electronics.

Contact www.taylorintime.com to subscribe to his newsletter

 

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