Whether it's getting near to tax time (as when I am posting this) or some other time of the year, the influx of papers and/or electronic documents is never ending.
As a result, there is lots of paper-overwhelm! Sometimes there is electronic document-overwhelm, but that doesn't seem to be as prevalent because it's not usually as obvious.
With my organizing and productivity clients, questions such as:
Added by Janice, Productivity Strategist on March 4, 2014 at 12:58pm — No Comments
The good news is that everyone can create organizing systems that work for them. Don't misunderstand me, it isn't easy and it may take some outside help. It won't even happen today, but can be done. The bad news is that organizing isn't an end goal. It is a process...a lifelong process at that. I hate to break the news, but organizing is never done per se because there is constant maintenance. Stuff keeps entering our space! (And tasks keep entering our schedule, but we won't…Read More
Added by Janice, Productivity Strategist on September 27, 2012 at 4:32pm — No Comments
Books, magazines, newsletters, oh my! There is no shortage of things to read! The cold, hard fact is that most likely you won't ever be able to read all of the items you need to or want to. There simply aren't enough hours in the day - no matter how fast you read. And if you keep collecting reading material, most likely you will feel guilty about what hasn't been read and you may feel overwhelmed by the piles and stacks.
Here are a couple of strategies that may help decrease "reading…Read More
What is your immediate reaction if I say "your stuff overwhelm is a result of decisions you have made"? Denial is instantaneous for some of you. Others may pause before saying that it can't be true. Still others may consider the statement and agree. In her book When You Live with a Messie, Sandra Felton asserts,
Your house is the way it is now as a…
Added by Janice, Productivity Strategist on August 27, 2012 at 3:00pm — No Comments
Mind on info overload? I was reading Angela Hunt's novel, She Always Wore Red, when I ran across the following sentences:
Whatever made me think I could go back to school? For thirty-nine years, the neurons in my brain have been fling information away, and now I'm pretty sure the drawers are either full or stuck. I'm not sure there's room for more then a dozen new fifty-cent words.
Do you feel like that?…Read More
Amputation: loss, fear, change, disfigurement, pain...lots of words probably come to mind when you hear the word. Awhile back in a TV drama, a girl in her 20's refused to have her arm amputated even though most of the arm was black. She had tried every other treatment and her doctors told her that without amputation, the disease would spread to her bones and she would die.
Aren't we often like that when we have too much stuff? Someone suggests that we donate some…Read More
Added by Janice, Productivity Strategist on July 23, 2012 at 2:49pm — No Comments
If you have or have seen a grandfather or grandmother clock, you know that the pendulum (that thing that swings back and forth) is crucial in helping the clock maintain the correct time. Did you know that the term "speed up" comes from pendulum clocks?If the clock runs slow, then you move the weight up to make the clock run faster. On the other hand, if the clock runs too fast, then you move the weight down to slow the clock down. Whenever the time on the…Read More
Do you feel like you are swimming (or maybe drowning!) in information? Whether it is TV, internet, smartphone, print, or radio we have information coming at us from various places at a furious rate. At times it can be extremely overwhelming. Or maybe it is always overwhelming!
Since the reality is that one piece of information often leads to three more pieces of information, it is impossible to process and retain even a portion of the information we are exposed to each day. Please…Read More
Added by Janice, Productivity Strategist on June 12, 2012 at 11:59am — No Comments
You've probably had this happen: the morning is going well! You had worked out at the gym and had enough time to enjoy a cup of tea before leaving for your first appointment of the day. But then...you went to your computer to check and see if there were any really urgent emails. Next time you checked the clock it was 8:15am and you need to leave at 8:35am to be on time for the appointment. You hadn't even taken a shower! So you run around like a chicken with your head cut off and tear out of…Read More
Added by Janice, Productivity Strategist on May 24, 2012 at 5:57pm — No Comments
When I help clients declutter, we often find a variety of items which can potentially be deleted from the space. Some items can be donated, recycled, or put in the trash. But then there is the other stuff. These are the things that the person is (almost) ready to delete but which they don't feel comfortable donating or recycling. However, the person may get rejuvenated by the thought of giving the item as a gift.
You are…Read More
Added by Janice, Productivity Strategist on May 9, 2012 at 5:23pm — No Comments
When you hear the word hook what do you immediately think of? Okay, in addition to fish what word comes to mind? What about seize, fasten, or hold? Hook implies getting stuck or drawn into something. In literature, a hook is what draws you to pick up the book or read a story. In advertising it is what causes you to purchase a product or service. Given these examples it is reasonable to assume that if we have…Read More
Added by Janice, Productivity Strategist on April 30, 2012 at 5:14pm — No Comments
I love this quote by children's literature author Arnold Lobel, Books to the ceiling, Books to the sky, My pile of books are a mile high. How I love them! How I need them! I'll have a long beard by the time I read them. I know lots of people who have tons of books. Okay, I confess that I am one of them. Despite the fact that many of the books remain unread, more books are added to these collections with astonishing frequency without any books…Read More
Added by Janice, Productivity Strategist on April 17, 2012 at 8:46am — No Comments
Life is often made up of patterns and routines. This can be a good thing. In the morning you probably don't think about what to do when. You have a set order for getting up, showering, eating, dressing, etc. You may other habits such as paying bills on the 15th and 30th of each month, exercising after work, or going to a place of worship on a weekly basis.
However, not all patterns produce good results. Some result in negative consequences. Here are some…Read More
On March 11, 2012, 68 teams were invited to be part of the NCAA College Basketball Championship Tournament. On March 19, 2012, there are 16 teams left. There were close games and not-so-close games. There were bumps and bruises plus some drama. But in the end, the number went from 68 to 16 and before all is said and done, there will be one NCAA College Basketball Champion. There is only room for one!
The same principle of single-round elimination…Read More
Added by Janice, Productivity Strategist on March 19, 2012 at 9:22am — No Comments
Teams have been chosen, and people have made their choices of winners and losers. Even if you're not a college basketball fan, you've probably surmised that I am talking about the NCAA College Basketball Championship otherwise known as March Madness. So what does bracketology have to do with organizing? More than you might think.
Bracketology is visual. There are lines (or boxes) and connectors. Two brackets on the right and two on…Read More
Added by Janice, Productivity Strategist on March 13, 2012 at 5:35pm — No Comments
I am definitely not a green thumb, so you may need to confirm that this idea would work...
This suggestion falls into the category of giving a place of honor to a treasured item that you can't delete from your space. Often this can occur if you can find a new purpose for the item. I once saw a picture of a pair of boots serving as pots for plants. Yes, you would have to poke holes in the bottoms and you would need to find out if the material they are made out of is conducive to…Read More
Added by Janice, Productivity Strategist on February 23, 2012 at 12:53pm — No Comments
Products with many uses decrease the number of items that are in your space. Consider the common jar lid opener. Here are some examples of how a jar lid opener can be used:
Added by Janice, Productivity Strategist on February 13, 2012 at 3:20pm — No Comments
Now I am not asking you to put all of your stuff on a scale. For some people there might not be a scale large enough, I am talking about a feeling. Do you feel overwhelmed when you enter your home or office? Does the amount of stuff in your space negatively impact your physical self? Does the length of your to-do list making you feel like you are drowning? These are the signs that your physical or time-related stuff is taking its' toll on your life.
A while ago, I saw a "sunglasses expert" on TV. He indicated that people should have different sunglasses for different "moods" and that people should have as many different sunglasses as they do pairs of shoes. Now I don't doubt that he is an expert in finding the right type of sunglasses to fit a person's face; what I doubt is that he realized the impact of his words. According to him, if I have 20 pairs of shoes, then I should have 20 pairs of sunglasses. First, I don't want to pay the…Read More
Added by Janice, Productivity Strategist on December 14, 2011 at 1:28pm — No Comments
During this time of year, there is lots of discussion and action around stuff...and not all of it positive. When you share a living or workspace with others and clutter is present, there is often lots of pointing of fingers as to who "owns" the clutter. Rarely does this decrease physical clutter, instead it often adds to mental clutter because angry words are exchanged and feelings are hurt. Douglas Adams asserts,
When you blame…