Archive for Office Organizing

5 tips to help you organize your email

Reading time: 10 minutes

In 2020 there were 306 billion emails sent and received each day worldwide. Experts generally agree that a person sends and receives 121 business emails each day. The best time to send an email is between 10-11 am.  The average professional spends 28% of the workday reading and answering email, according to a McKinsey analysis. For the average full-time worker in America, that amounts to a staggering 2.6 hours spent per day. Jan. 22, 2019

It is no wonder that you are so distracted by e-mail that you can’t get anything done? Here are 5 tips to help you manage your email communications.

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 those 121 emails by reducing 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 as empty as possible by creating folders to store receipts, orders, invitations, information etc.  Search functions do work well for finding old emails, leaving them all in your inbox means you spend time re-reading emails.

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.

The average professional spends 2.6 hours each day on approximately 120 emails. Click To Tweet

Share your best tip that helps you use email productively?

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She has been working with clients since 2006 to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She uses her love of physical activity to reduce clutter, in your home and office. She guides and supports you to manage your time. If you’re in a difficult transition Julie can coach you to break free of emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. Online courses are available to help instruct, coach and support your organizing projects. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

Click here to learn more about her online course Create an Organized Home.

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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9 Tips for organizing your work space

Some people’s workspace is for studying, some people are working from home, some are attending school virtually.   My guest blogger this month is the Custom Writing Team.

According to recent studies, it can take up to twenty minutes to get focused again after getting distracted. Finding and organizing the perfect working/studying space may be the best solution for you.

Proper arrangement of stationery, a comfortable chair and desk, and the absence of clutter and distractions may significantly boost your productivity. Even the colour of your walls and accessories impact the learning process too!

To help you organize your workspace, we have prepared nine great tips, outlined in the infographic below. Check it out and make your room comfortable and inspiring!

 


Infographic by Custom-Writing.Org 

According to recent studies, it can take up to twenty minutes to get focused again after getting distracted. Click To Tweet

Did Custom-Writing miss anything? Comment on what you would add as tip number 10.

If you need help creating, redesigning or organizing your work/study space contact julie@mindoverclutter.ca  

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She has been working with clients since 2006 to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She uses her love of physical activity to reduce clutter, in your home, office, mind and time. If you’re in a difficult transition Julie can coach you to break-free of emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

Click here to learn more about working with a Professional Organizer?

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10 Easy Ways to Find More Space in Your Home

My guest blogger this month is Laura McHolm, an organizational, moving and storage expert, and co-founder of NorthStar Moving Company. NorthStar Moving Company is an award-winning, “A+” rated company, which specializes in providing eco-luxury moving and storage services.

Many believe that to lead a more organized and inspired life, the clutter around you must be cleared. It’s simple: if your home is organized, your mindset will be too.

A clean and balanced home is actually a launching pad for many other goals and resolutions. So if you’re already starting to fail at some of your other 2020 resolutions, try this home resolution instead: find more space in your home by clearing out the clutter! Follow these ten tips and I promise you it will inspire you to complete your other resolutions and lead you to a more organized and happier year!

Pantries

Create room by removing the large and awkward food packaging. Purchase clear, air-tight containers, take the box of your food item, and cut out the product name, nutritional facts and expiration date. Tape them to the inside of your clear container and then seal the food.

Pantry Shelves

Arrange the food on your shelves to help keep your resolutions. Make “first choice” shelves for the food that you want to stay on that diet. Make shelves that are for the kids snacks or foods that you’re just not going to have on a regular basis anymore… You get the idea –some shelves are just for the once a week treat. Some are for every day.

Pantry Storage

If you like to buy in bulk, put the bulk of your paper goods in another location, perhaps a closet or the garage, and place only what you need in your pantry— restock as needed. Tape a note to the shelf stating the location of the extra supplies.  When you use the last item it will remind you of the location where more are stored.

In the Kitchen

When storing pots, pans and other durable items, stack them on their sides like files. This simple step not only creates more room, it also allows you to see exactly what you need. Caddies or sorters from a shelf or container store have great tools for vertical organizing. Have all this in mind in when planning your next kitchen remodeling.

It’s simple: if your home is organized, your mindset will be too. Click To Tweet

Dressers

Place clothing in drawers vertically (not the traditional horizontal piles) because it not only maximizes space, it allows you to find items more quickly. You can purchase wooden planks or plastic planks to use as dividers. This way you can see all of your clothes at once when you open the drawer.

Closets

If your shoes don’t have a place they end up in a pile taking up valuable space. Place shoes and accessories in clear plastic containers so you can see everything and tape their photo to the inside of their container with photo facing out. This little step gives you triple duty: more space, you can find it easier and better still you can put it away in the exact same spot for next time that hot date rolls around…

Our Shoe Box, Container Store

Organize by Color

Organize your closet and drawers dark to light. It can be a great way to find out that you really have way too many black blouses… and you can keep your resolution of being a kinder gentler you by donating the extras!

Kids’ Rooms

Purchase bed raisers for under-the-bed storage. Make sure they are sturdy and the bed can’t be knocked off the raisers during a game of hide and seek.  You can also purchase under the bed drawers. You can store everything from shoes, laundry basket, books and any bulky items that might otherwise clutter their room.

A Baby’s Closet

Is there room to add another bar? Take advantage of the fact that baby clothing is smaller and if you can, add an additional bar to hang the clothing to maximize space. You can purchase pre-made closet organizers that you can customize to make the most out of baby’s closet.

Neatfreak Hanging Expandable Bar

The best trick to more space in your home, less is more! So if you find you have extra things laying around, throw a reverse housewarming party! You’ll be starting a new party trend. Set aside your unwanted items and instead of having your friends bring a housewarming gift, they are to pick one of your items and take it home with them. This is a great way to reunite with friends, find your unwanted things a good home, and de-clutter all at the same time!

Originally posted on porch.com 

If you need help implementing these suggestions book a complimentary 30-minute virtual appointment.  

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach 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. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

Click here to learn more about working with a Professional Organizer?

 

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Organize your office to be more active

With more people working from home, it is a good time to look at your office design. When I started organizing in 2006 I learned about organizing efficient offices so you didn’t waste time away from your desk. Starting in 2014 new research was telling us to organize offices to help you be active.  Stand up, sit less and move more. Click To Tweet

Even the most well-designed office can make you feel chained to your desk.  Make sure that you can get up and take a walk occasionally, or maybe move to a secondary location where you get a little work done without sitting in the same place all day.

Organize an Active Workstation

 

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  physically active work processes that are characterized by regular changes between different work-related tasks, workstations, and working postures.”  Try adding to your traditional desk, elements such as active seats, standing desks, and whiteboards to help you get moving.

Products that make your office active

 

Use an exercise ball as your chair.  You constantly contract and release muscle tension to help your balance.  This muscle contraction helps you to be more active and less sedentary.

Invest in a sit stand desk.  They are very economical and allow you to transition from sitting to standing as you change the type of work you are doing.  It is the transition from sitting to standing and standing to sitting every 30 minutes that give you the health benefits associated with an active office design.

Make a larger investment and buy a treadmill desk.  It allows you to walk while working.

There are many more products you can use in your office.

Health benefits of an active office design

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 

If you need a virtual presentation on this topic for your staff that is working from home, contact me.

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach 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. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

Click here to learn more about working with a Professional Organizer?

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Use colour coding to organize your office space

Visual people find organizing to be more effective using different colours to represent different categories.  Other people find having too many colours to be visual clutter and distracting.  Colour can be used to motivate, grab your attention or calm your work space. My guest blogger Jessica Pyykkonen from Quill.com explains how to use colour to organize your workspace with this  infographic.

Color code your way to an organized workspace with office productsInfographic by Quill

Color code your way to an organized workspace with office productsWhen the workspace becomes chaotic, color may offer a solution. Adapting a color-coded system will organize your office and make it easier to track and access information. Read about the psychological properties of colors, plus strategies to organize by color.
Color code your way to an organized workspace with office products
  1. Psychological properties of colors

    Before applying a color-coded system to the office, learn the meaning behind popular colors to help dictate which hues to use and when.

    • Red: Associated with energy and power, red is an intense color. Since it quickly grabs the eye, use it to alert coworkers of something urgent.
    • Orange: Less aggressive than red, orange is still an eye-catching, dominating color. A hue closer to the shade of gold can mean luxury, wisdom, or wealth. Use it to label new or long-term projects that focus on the future or improving your business.
    • Yellow: Also a great attention grabber, yellow signifies happiness, hope, and positivity and is commonly used for important items that cannot be ignored. Use for production tasks or to communicate new ideas.
    • Green: A symbol of growth and fertility, green symbolizes stability and healing power. Use it for financial tasks and environmental initiatives.
    • Blue: As a calming color, blue represents loyalty, intelligence, and focus. It’s also a trusting color. Use it for brainstorming, presenting, and networking.
    • Purple: A combination of blue and red, purple is a creative color that symbolizes royalty and luxury. It’s great for creative tasks.
    • Pink: A playful color, pink is full of compassion. It’s a loving, intimate, and feminine color. Save it for personal labels and special occasions.
    • White: Associated with purity, white signifies success and perfection. Use it to signify simplicity and cleanliness.
    • Black: A formal color, black can be prestigious or authoritative. Use it to make other colors stand out and for formal events.
  2. Organizing files by color

    When it’s necessary to save every piece of paper that touches your desk, it can be easy to misplace important information in a pile of white. To file papers you may need to reference later, create a color-coded system with folders.

    Divide documents into categories—invoices, tax documents, office guidelines, etc.—and choose a color to represent each category. Use folders or tabs in each designated color to organize the categories. For file cabinets, choose an assortment of colored hanging folders, which are sturdy enough to hold most documents.

    When passing documents between teams, it’s a good idea to assign colors to departments or tasks. Colored file folders help distinguish which documents need to head to the HR department or be reviewed by the financial team. If using plain manila folders, stick colored labels or tabs on each folder.

    Multiple projects can be assigned a color and organized in three-ring binders. Maintain the color-coded system inside the binder to separate budget and creative documents.

    If it’s time to archive documents, use storage bins in the color-coded system to quickly identify what is inside.Colour psychology is the study of hues to determine the effects on human behaviour. It can be applied to many things in life like office organizing and productivity. Click To Tweet

  3. Color code your calendar

    A calendar filled with back-to-back meetings can be overwhelming and ineffective. Ease the stress by assigning colors to events—both work and personal—to get a better understanding of your day-to-day activities. Visualizing the events can help control how much time you allocate to each activity or project.

    To categorize meetings, choose colors based on their psychological properties. Most calendar apps allow users to assign colors, but if you prefer traditional day planners, use sticky notes or colored pencils to categorize.

    • Red: Wednesday 11 a.m.—”Final Spreadsheet due”
    • Blue: Tuesday 3 p.m. — “Brainstorm Session w/ PR”
    • Green: Thursday 10 a.m. — “Budget Meeting”
    • Yellow: Tuesday 9 a.m. — “Credit Card Bill Due”Wednesday 1 p.m. — “Order File Folders”
    • Purple: Monday 2 p.m. — “Present Sales Pitch”Thursday 1 p.m. — “Review Mock-Ups”
    • Pink: Friday 5 p.m. — “Happy Hour”
  4. Take notes in color

    Writing notes on paper is a great concept—until those notes get lost among other notes and are never read again. Take the color-coded calendar a step further by using the same colored pen to take notes. Color coding can also stimulate different parts of your brain and allow you to see connections previously overlooked.

    In a budget meeting? Use a green pen to jot down notes. If a creative idea comes to mind that you don’t want to forget to bring up during a weekly brainstorm, use purple. When you flip back through your note pages, the system will allow you to quickly find what you’re looking for. But avoid too much color—if everything is highlighted, it’s difficult to tell what takes priority.

  5. Color code your inbox

    If hundreds of unread emails leave you overwhelmed, assign colors to senders or subjects to quickly identify what needs attention. Many email systems have settings to adjust how emails are displayed in your inbox. Assign automatic colors to specific people, such as your manager, so those emails will stand out.

    Messages can also be coded by subject line. If you’re working on a specific project, assigning that project name a color will separate it from everyday emails.

Conclusion

Color coding is meant to make your work life easier. Assign colors before you start a new project and limit the amount to avoid confusion. You shouldn’t have to spend time deciphering your color code!

How do you use colour coding to keep yourself organized?

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach 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. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

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/

What to learn more about working with a Professional Organizer?

https://mindoverclutter.ca/what-does-a-professional-organizer-do/

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Is your work environment keeping you from working?

Here is a short excerpt from an article by Harold Taylor.  Harold Taylor is a time management and productivity expert.

Change your  environment in some way to offset your natural inclination to avoid doing things you don’t like.

You can minimize destractions:

  • turn off your cellphone,
  • disengage voicemail,
  • turn off email alerts and
  • close your office door at specific times while you work on your priority projects.

image by Jason-Salmon

You can minimize visual distractions:

  • remove all clutter and other potential distractions from your immediate work area
  • including any in-baskets, they give you an excuse to chat with the person dropping off paper
  • don’t have family photos or memorabilia in your line of sight
  • face a blank wall, not a window or open doorway.

You can set-up a work schedule:

  • Work on projects for 60 or 90 minutes at a time – maximum.
  • Then change to another type of work for 15 minutes
  • Work on a project for 60-90 minutes
  • Then take a 30 minute break, doing something completely different from your previous work
  • Work for 60 monre minutes on a project

If you find that’s too long to postpone urges to interrupt yourself, shorten the work sessions. You can always increase them gradually later. Between sessions you can check email, return phone calls and grab a coffee. Work in short sprints rather than attempt marathons. Research shows that it takes a lot of energy to practice willpower.

Resist the temptation to interrupt yourself

Do what you can to develop a work environment that makes it easier to resist the temptation of interrupting yourself or others, checking email constantly, grabbing for your smartphone whenever there’s a call or being distracted by other things.

To subscribe to his monthly  newsletter on Time Management go to www.taylorintime.com

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach 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. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

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/

What to learn more about working with a Professional Organizer?

https://mindoverclutter.ca/what-does-a-professional-organizer-do/

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Filing options to keep your papers organized

1. Traditional Filing Cabinets

They come in many sizes and colours.  Make sure to get one with drawer sliders so you can easily reach to the back of each drawer.  Some come with locks others do not.  They can be vertical or horizontal.  Horizontal cabinets provide a space to set things on, a printer, plant etc.  You can buy a stand that has wheels to set under the filing cabinet to make it easier to relocate.

grey metal 2 drawer vertical filing cabinet

 

2. Binders 

Binders are a good solution for visual people.  You can have them on a shelf and easily see all your files.  The binders can be colour coded to make it simple to find the correct binder. Use dividers, pocket dividers or sheet protectors to file papers. Set up the categories you need:  household bills, bank statements, warranties etc  Some binders also have a set of acordion files attached to the binder.  Here is a review of this product. 

Black 3 ring binder with attached accordian file

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.  With the crates, you can stack them for easy storage. 

Whtie plastic crate with hangin file folers

Crates make your files portable

black metal box on wheels with red, orange and yellow hanging file folders.

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

4. Expandable Files

Use one section for each category of paperwork. For example household bills, income tax, financial documents,  insurance policies, warranties, etc.  They are great to have one for each member of the family to store papers relating to them, report cards/school documents , immunization/health records, passport and other documents, certificates etc.  You can also colour code these files.

Blue accordian file with clear sections for papers

Some come with special hooks so you can store them in a filing cabinet or crate.

Blue accordian file with hooks to hang in a black filing cabinet drawer

5. Magazine holders

Magazine holders come in paper and plastic.  They are avalable in many colours and patterns. Try to buy ones with solid sides so papers will not get caught and be hard to slide in.  Use a holder for each category of paper you need to file.  You can colour code your systems making it easier to quickly access the files you need.  You can turn them so the spines is facing out, label them, to reduce the vsiual clutter of seeing all the papers in each box. 

White cardboard magazine holder with papers and file folders in them.

 

What is your preferred method for filing paperwork?

POC Gold Leaf MemberJulie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach 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. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

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/

What to learn more about working with a Professional Organizer?

https://mindoverclutter.ca/what-does-a-professional-organizer-do/

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Document organizing tips to keep you afloat

 

Document System

R – Read
A – Act
F – File
T- Toss

Paperwork, e-mail messages and electronic files  can overwhelm you making you feel stressed and ineffective.  If information has built up, look at the creation date on the document and decide if is the most recent version.  If the document was replaced by a more current version toss or delete the old versions.  If the document can be replicated, retrieved or is obsolete toss it, shredded it or delete it.

As documents arrive, paper or electronic decide:

R  –  Needs to be read or referred to later

If it will be read  or referred  to another person, place it in a folder (electronic or paper) labelled as read.  If the document is to be used by another person forward it to the correct person.

A – Needs to be processed

If the document requires:

  • an action to be taken,
  • a decision to be made,
  • a response conveyed or
  • has a deadline

place it in a folder marked Act.  Financial documents should have their own folder separate from the Act folder.

F – Needs to be filed

If  the documents  are completed, but must be retained ,then they are  filed.  If it is an electronic document forward it to the correct folder.  If it is a paper document place it in a file or basket for filing at a later date.

T – Needs to be disposed of

Documents  that you:

  • no longer need,
  • have no financial implications,
  • are out of date,
  • junk mail or
  • a copy can be obtained elsewhere

can be tossed, deleted, recycled or shredded.

All of your electronic communications and paperwork are now filed as:

  • Read
  • Act
  • File or
  • Tossed

and are ready to be handled at a later time.  Schedule time in your agenda/calendar to read documents, complete any action needed on documents and file paperwork.  This system helps you to:

  • know where documents are if someone has questions,
  • allows you to manage your time effectively by scheduling your paperwork at times when you will be uninterrupted and
  • be able to quickly  locate the papers/documents you need to complete a task.

Although much of your information is paperless there is still a substantial amount of paper to control.  Have 3-5 stacking trays or a desktopper with  folders.  Label the folders/trays: to do, to read, to file,  refer to other people, miscellaneous forms.  File the paper correctly and schedule time to process each folder.

3 black stackable plastic trays for filing and a white desktopper holding file folders for filing paperwork

At the end of the day:

  • Clean off your desk, leaving only papers you are going to process tomorrow in a stack on your desk.
  • In your calendar record the files you need to process.  Place e-mails/documents to be worked on in a folder marked with the day of the week they will be processed
  • Check your to do files (paper and electronic) for items that need to be completed the next day
  • Sort all other paper and documents into their appropriate trays/ folders.

Share how do you prevent emails and paperwork from drowning you?

POC Gold LeafJulie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach 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. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

Click here to learn more about working with a Professional Organizer?

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Organizing your approach to handling e-mail

Harold Taylor is a time management expert.  He produces a monthly newsletter.  Here is one of his articles.  I hope you enjoy it.

Harold Taylor of Taylor in Time

Managing E-mail

Do you respond to a lot more email messages than you originate? Are you deleting emails unanswered or unread? Are you spending so much time reacting to email that you don’t have time for creativity, relaxation and renewal? If so, calculate your “Reactive Ratio.”

Reactive Ratio

Count the total number of email messages you receive during a day. Include spam, egroup messages and newsletters whether you still read them or not. Divide the total number of incoming email messages by the number that you send during the day. The resulting ratio should be as low as possible.

You can easily calculate this ratio if you don’t delete or move anything until the end of the day – even those that you have answered. The next morning, quickly count the total number of emails received the previous day as well as those sent the same day.

If the ratio is high, take action by cancelling newsletters that you seldom read, get off groups you don’t participate in, place spam filters at higher levels, and get off mailing lists. Consider using a different email address for purchases to avoid spam. Question whether all incoming messages require a reply. For instance, don’t thank people for thanking you. Consider adding “No reply necessary” to many of your outgoing messages. And investigate apps such as “unroll.me.”

Control Outgoing Email

Your outgoing messages also consume time and generate incoming messages. So question whether a quick phone call is better. Don’t copy people who have no need for the information.Decide whether a quick phone call is more productive than sending an email. Click To Tweet

Reduce the Total Time Spent on Emailing

Even more important than your “Reactive Ratio” is the total time you spend on email each day. Keep messages brief. Use text replacement software for longer & repetitive replies such as instructions or directions. Allocate specific times to check and respond to email. This could be one hour late morning and one hour late afternoon. If you can get by with less time, so much the better. But don’t fragment your day by checking email every few minutes or every hour.

Click here to sign up for his newsletter 

Share a hack that helps you to control the amount of time you spend on email. 

POC Gold LeafJulie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach 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. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

Click here to learn more about working with a Professional Organizer?

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4 Organizing tips for getting rid of piles of paper

A lovely colleague sent me this first tip.  Marie Mushing runs a networking group called People in Connection

1.Make the area a showcase

See what working with a professional organizer can do for you? Professional Organizers rub out junk. Where there was once chaos and huge piles of paper, is now a showcase. Thank you Julie! Replace the junk pile with something pretty as I did, then you won’t want to pile junk on that again. Great motivation to keep the filing done!
Keep your filing cabinets free of paper?

2.Prevent drop zones from forming

If you have an empty flat surface it sometimes  calls to people, “to fill me with stuff.” To prevent that area from becoming cluttered put a large object or two in that spot.  It will make the area feel full and then you won’t drop things there.  With only 2 larger objects, it is easy to pick them up and dust and clean.  If you use a number of smaller items it may make the area harder to clean.

3.Designate a paper collection spot

Assign a place to put papers that need to be read, filed, signed etc.  Place  a tray, lovely baskets, eye catching red container etc in a convenient location. Why red?  Red is a high energy colour, it increases your heartrate, your eye is drawn to red items.  Buy using a red basket it can help to  make dealing with paperwork a high priority activity.  Keeping paperwork consolidated in one spot makes it easier to find and work with.  When paper is all over the office or house it becomes visual clutter, causing anxiety, the release of cortisol and you feel stress.  Cut the visual clutter, collect the paper in one spot, and complete the tasks.

4.Avoid the L word – later

Piles of paper will continue to build up if you leave them for later.  Later will never come.  Schedule time to deal with paperwork: schedule time to read, file, and reply to paperwork that generates more work.  Schedule these activities according to your level of energy at different times of the day.  Scheduling reading after lunch at a low energy time of the day may not be productive but scheduling file after lunch maybe perfect because it gets you up and activity. Scheduling time at the beginning of each day to concentrate on work generated by email, letters, documents might work well when you are able to focus on single tasks.  Remember not to multi-task.

Schedule time for paperwork

If you’re interested in learning how colour can affect your productivity, this guide is free and you can find it here .

What tricks do you use to help you complete paperwork?

Related articles The truth about multitasking 

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach 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 distracting clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

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