Organize + Energize: Are You Too Busy to Get Organized?
Tuesday, July 10, 2018
Kristin MacRae, GoLocalWorcester Organizing Expert
At least once a week, I will hear a business owner say, “I’m too busy to get organized. I can’t take time out of my day to get organized!”
Are you running around telling people there aren’t enough hours in the day? Are you disorganized? If the answer is yes, then you have to re-evaluate how you function on a day-to-day basis. If you want to work on your time management skills and become more efficient and productive, you have to declutter, get organized, and streamline processes. Your time management skills will improve once you do this.
If you think getting organized is a waste of time, you are wasting time by not being organized. If you continue to say you are too busy to get organized, you will continue to be overwhelmed, stressed out, frazzled, and paralyzed due to your disorganization. If your business hasn’t been affected by this yet, wait a little longer and it will hit you like a brick.
How long have you been operating this way? Has it been weeks, months, or years? It’s time to carve out some time in your day and make a plan to get organized.
The people that state they are too busy to get organized are usually the same people who are doing the following:
Wasting time and energy searching for files. If you filed it when you initially received it or finished working on it, you will have no problem grabbing it when you need it. It will take you seconds to put your finger on it. How much time have you wasted searching for a file in a stack of papers?
Not billing clients in a timely manner. Do you have a process to bill your clients? Are you consistent with following through with that process? Are you losing money? Your clients will take notice, especially if they are organized and your business will begin to feel the effects.
Paying bills late. Are the bills you need to pay underneath a mound of paper on your desk? Do you forget to pay them? If you pay these bills late, you are going to be paying late fees, your interest rates will increase, your credit score will drop, and collection agencies will be hounding you. Also, the company that you owe money to may drop you as a customer. I have seen the latter happen many times.
Don’t return calls in a timely manner and/or show up late to appointments. Do you always sound frazzled and distracted when speaking to customers? If you are distracted, clients are going to question if you will handle their business in an efficient and productive manner.
Clutter in the office. If you have a client visiting your office, they will be distracted by the disorganization in your office and it will be difficult for them to focus on what you are saying.
Bottom line, you are losing time, money, and clients due to your disorganization. The majority don’t have working systems in place. There aren’t any processes and procedures in place. If you are disorganized, stop saying you don’t have time to get organized. Carve out a few hours in your day and make that change. Does your business have a slow time of year when you could tackle this project? Can you take one Saturday or evening to tackle this?
Are you giving the excuse that you don’t have enough time? Do you think the real reason you don’t want to tackle this is because it’s going to be too overwhelming? Maybe your organizational skill set hasn’t been developed and you don’t know where to begin or how to go about getting organized. Break this project down into small tasks. After you finish reading this, make a plan and tackle this or reach out and call a professional to help you. You won’t believe the amount of free time you will have once you get organized.
Kristin Carcieri-MacRae, is an organizing & efficiency expert and owner of Organizing in RI. Kristin teaches her clients that living an organized lifestyle will save them time and money, decrease their stress levels and help them become more efficient and productive. Her articles have been published in local and national magazines. She has also given over 80 presentations throughout the state. Kristin has created a one-of-a-kind weekly planner. More info here.
Paper in any form
This was the most challenging space! 91% of people surveyed stated paper was their biggest headache. Just because we are in this digital age, people think paper is going to disappear. As long as we have mail, and paper at work, kid’s school papers, etc., paper is going to be around for a very long time. We need to develop systems to organize and maintain our paper clutter.
To stay on top of an organized closet, you should be emptying your closet twice a year. Switch your closets in the spring and fall. This will force you to take inventory of the contents of the closet. You’ll never know what’s hiding in the back corners of your closet unless you take everything out.
When was the last time you emptied your entire food closet down to bare shelves? I asked this question at my last presentation and not one person could remember. Some said the last time their food pantry was empty was when they first moved in and others stated it had been years. Have garbage bags on hand. In every kitchen I organize, we throw out at least three garbage bags of expired food.
This is the black hole of the house. If an item doesn’t have a home, it usually gets thrown in the basement on a shelf. You’ll walk into the basement one day and wonder how did it get so bad? The first thing you need to do in the basement is declutter, then categorize items and then decide how you want to function going forward. Measure your space and choose shelving units that will fit what you need to hold. Block off 3 hours and don’t leave the basement during that time. Staying in the room will keep you focused.
The garage is an area similar to the basement. The garage tends to be a drop spot for outdoor items and usually there isn’t any organization. Most tend to regret not organizing the garage when they find they can’t park their cars in the garage in the winter months when it’s snowing. Put this project on your to-do list this fall.
Office at work
Most will say they don’t have time to tackle this area, but think about the time you are wasting by not being organized. The office can be challenging for some because you have paper, closet space, desk space and bookshelves. Most get overwhelmed and stressed just thinking about tackling this space. They think it’s easier to function this way than to actually tackle the project.
If your kids are over the age of 6, incorporate them in this process. If you don’t have the skill set to help them get organized, call in a professional to work one-on-one with them. If your kids are craving structure, it’s time for them to get organized.
Another one of those black holes like the basement. You rarely venture into the attic and you continue to toss items in there that don’t have a home. The garage, basement and attic are really challenging areas because you don’t spend much time in them. Think about how you want to function in these spaces. Streamline and maximize this space. This room should have a purpose.
When items are just thrown into this closet without being contained, chaos will ensue. Empty the entire closet, categorize, itemize and then measure the space. Purchase containers to match the space and what you have to hold. It’s all about maximizing space in this closet and being able to put your hand on something without moving five other items out of the way.
This is a tough project even for people who are organized. Memorabilia items and photos are a challenge because as you go through them, you tend to reminisce. Save this for the last project on your list of areas to organize. Once you begin, just focus on tossing and keeping and then reminisce when the decluttering process is completed.