Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Resolutions - How Are You Doing ?

January is coming to a very fast close. So - be honest - how many of you made New Years Resolutions? And how many have actually kept them this far?

Everyone knows that by the time January nears a close most people that actually made resolutions have already let them go by the wayside. Don't beat yourself up - you are in the majority.

Everyone knows the reason for this - the resolutions are too hard, too big and "life changing".  And most people aren't ready to change their life in January.

Making changes is something that you have to be ready for. And just because you feel the pressure to make a change in January - when the whole world is promising to change - doesn't mean that you are ready. It's just a lot of peer pressure.

So give yourself a break. Step back and re-analyze your resolution. Is it really something that you are ready for? Is it something really attainable?  If you have bitten off more than you can chew - the only thing that will happen is nothing. You will quickly get disenchanted with your lack of success and stop. Period. Just stop.

Part of being organized is knowing your limitations and knowing what you need to get yourself motivated. That is why everyone joins a gym in January. So that they have someone to give them a push and hold them accountable. But with so many new people at a gym when a few fall off - no one really notices and you really don't matter. They aren't there just for you - but for the gym.

That is why a personal trainer is usually more effective. They know your weaknesses and try to find a way to motivate you into gaining the results that you are after.

So there are a number of lessons here:

1) Don't make resolutions that are too broad - be very specific - such as "I will organize my kitchen cabinets" - instead of  "I will organize my entire house"

2) Be honest with yourself and set a realistic time frame based on your level of energy.  "I will spend one (1) hour a day working on my kitchen until it's done" instead of "I will organize the entire kitchen in one afternoon".   If you get tired and frustrated before you are done - you will stop and never continue.

3) Know your limitations. "I am not an organized person and I have no idea how to get the best use out of my space".  If you don't know how to fix your plumbing - you call a plumber. So if you don't know how to organize - call a Professional Organizer.

4) I always start projects - but never finish. Again - a lot of people need a coach / mentor - to help them reach their goals. Look at all of the workout tapes on the market - and still - in January - people sign up for a gym - because they need the push of a "real person".

5) After setting realistic goals that you can accomplish in a time frame that is reasonable and do-able for you - be proud of yourself for that small goal and stop beating yourself up because you didn't organize an entire house in an hour.

Remember....  organizing is a process. An ever-evolving and on-going process.

So - step back and re-analyze your situation. One small step at a time.

Happy Organizing !

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, January 20, 2014

Filing Your Taxes - Are You Prepared ?

It happens every year. Taxes are due. People everywhere are eagerly awaiting their W2's so they can file their tax returns. Right?

Maybe not - there are a lot of people that put off getting all of the needed paperwork together until the very last minute. Why?  Because they aren't organized. They can't find the information they need. It's not in a convenient location or in a convenient format.

Receipts have been misplaced or are non-existent. Stress builds up and all thoughts of taxes are pushed out of their thoughts. Until April. And then the panic sets in. Again.

This happens every year. So why not break the cycle?

Put together a list of all of the things that are needed to file your taxes. Then make folders and as these things come into your home - put them in the appropriate folder.

Make sure that you have a "donation" folder - for all of your donation receipts.

Have a folder for your investment information. A folder for your medical bills. A folder for childrens expenses. A folder for major purchases.

The system has to work for you. Each person is different and has different information that they need to capture.

Use this year - as you get ready to prepare for your taxes - as a learning tool for what kind of information you will need to capture for next year.

By being organized - by having all of the needed information in one place - your life will be much less stressed.

Tax time is not a fun time for anyone - except tax accountants.  So take the stress out of the equation by being more organized.

Keeping good records throughout the year will make year end and tax time a breeze.

So take a deep breath and get your paperwork in order and resolve to make next year a better one.

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, January 13, 2014

January - Get Organized Month - (GO Month )

January is " GO Month ".   "Get Organized".

It's a time when there is a big push to let people know that being "Organized" is important and that it can change your life. It's a time when Professional Organizers get out there and help other organizations get organized to give them a boost in confidence and show them how organization can lead to better productivity.

"During GO Month, NAPO's annual national public awareness campaign promoting the benefits of getting organized, NAPO professional organizers and productivity specialists help individuals, families, organizations and businesses in their communities kick off the new year by regaining control over their surroundings, time and possessions. Each January, NAPO chapters and individual members host local and online events, appear in the media, and use blogs and social media to help empower people to streamline their home and work habits to save time, save money and reduce stress."

Organization plays a huge role in our lives. From having an organized life, home or office - being organized reduces stress.

Something as simple as getting ready for work in the morning can induce stress if you are running late or your can't find your briefcase or can't find your black blouse to match your suit.

Juggling kids and a job and getting everyone where they have to be - on time - requires being organized.

Getting through your hundreds of emails and completing your work or school project requires organizational skills.

There are so many areas where being organized plays a critical part of our day.

So start now - and think about how your life could change for the better if you were more organized.

Remember -  "Less Clutter = Less Stress" - in your home, office or life.

Happy GO Month!

Organizational Consulting Services