Which organizational method works best?

A friend of mine at last night’s Artist’s Way gathering said she was having trouble getting organized and asked for some advice. You know my ears perked up at that. She pulled a few examples out of her bag of various spreadsheet attempts. All had different sortations looking at a mix of times, days, and tasks. She said nothing was working.

And here’s the thing: She’s retired and has a problem many folks face. When you have too much time and lots of stuff you want to do but don’t have to do it’s hard to get motivated and it’s hard to stick to a task that has no deadline.

Here’s the advice I shared. Continue reading

Declutter 101

Decluttering is kind of trendy now, but is it for you? Ask yourself: Does the clutter in your house really bug you? Or does it feel like something that “should” bug you? If you secretly love your stash, please revel in it and spend your time elsewhere.

But if your clutter is bugging you, choose to tackle it with intent. Focus on it. Put your energy into it. And come up with a plan to help it on its way. Here are a few tips to help you get started. Continue reading

5 steps to complete any project

The number one question I get when I give talks on organization is about finishing projects. This might be something big like writing a book. It could be losing weight or starting an exercise program. Or it could be a nuisance task – like clearing boxes out of the basement or cleaning out a closet.

No matter what you’re working on, here are five steps to help you complete a project. Continue reading

Getting started on team work

I’m starting to work heading up a big project that involves dozens of people in a mix of locations. This weekend, I felt immobilized by the volume of work and information I need to understand, and by the number of people I need to connect and work with.

It’s one thing to get yourself organized. It’s quite another to lead a large, highly efficient team – especially when you’re joining a team that’s used to working in a certain way and you’re the newest member.

So what do you do? I start by brainstorming a list of everything that’s knocking around in my head that needs to get done. Continue reading

The 8-week Sprint

A friend at work recommended a blog by creative guru Jessica Abel. I checked out her site and read through a long, long, long post about why I should pay her to help guide me through an 8-week sprint to get a creative project done. I read – and read, and read – and thought, “I don’t need a coach. I just need to do the work.”

Here’s the plan I came up with for my 8-week sprint. Continue reading

Getting things done by adding levels

“Action leads to insight more often than insight leads to action.”
Dan and Chip Heath, The Power of Moments

In The Power of Moments, the Heath brothers have some great ideas about breaking big goals into small parts – and rewarding yourself along the way. They compare this to video games where you feel accomplished each time to go up a level.

Let’s say you’ve always wanted to learn to play that guitar you’ve had hanging around for years. In a standard scenario, you know to break big goals into small parts so you make a plan to:

  • Tune up the guitar.
  • Find a great book on how to play.
  • Find some online class options.
  • Commit to practicing for a half-hour, 3x a week.
  • Block out time this week and get to work.

This plan works great for the first week or two, but then it gets a little boring and you start to skip practice time. And before you know it, the guitar is banished to its case, collecting dust at the back of the closet. Continue reading

Organizing a smart move

If you’re planning a move for yourself, your kids, or your grandkids, here are a few ideas from Bellhops for making the move run smoother.

Continue reading