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Surveys reveal that “Getting Organized” consistently ranks in the Top 10 of New Year’s Resolutions. Is to ‘get organized’ your 2009 resolution? If so, January is the ideal month to get started. January is National ‘Get Organized’ month. As our lives become increasingly complex and stressful, time-starved Americans yearn for more simplicity and control in their lives … and better organization is a key ingredient to achieving these goals.

 

Did you know that:

·         60%+ feel they do not have enough time to get everything done that is required of them

·         40% of the US workforce now works more than 50 hours per week

·         The average American wastes 55-minutes per day — roughly 12 weeks per year — looking for misplaced belongings

·         75% of Americans visit malls each week. On average, Americans shop six hours a week, bringing more and more stuff into their homes

·         Americans receive as much mail in a week as our parents received in a month and as much in a month as our grandparents received in a lifetime.” (USPS)

 

Getting Organized at Home will:

·         Bring order, calm and control to home and family life

·         Save money by organizing bills, shopping and clothing

·         Get more done in less time

·         Find what you need — and need what you find!

 

Getting Organized at Work will:

·         Bring structure, logic and control to the organization, at any level

·         Optimize workflow to raise productivity, reduce stress, and increase profitability

·         Clear the way for employees to focus on higher goals

·         Motivate the team with real solutions to the everyday or ongoing challenges of too much to do, changing priorities, and information overload

 

January is the perfect month to ‘Get Organized’ and start the new year off right!

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I read an interesting article today in the Bottom Line Personal written by Gary Bencivenga on ways to boost your productivity. Lately, I have had a personal struggle with being too productive and not giving myself permission to relax and do nothing. I was drawn to the title ‘Why Your Not-To-Do List Is More Important Than Your To-Do List’. I was hoping Gary was going to tell me it was OK to sit back and not do anything with my days…that wasn’t the way it went.

I wanted to share an interesting topic within the article that I have heard before, but found it to be a great reminder. It is on applying the 80/20 rule to everything you do. Are you aware that 20% of your daily activities are responsible for 80% of your happiness, success, and even your income? These are considered your ‘big-payoff’ activities. At the same time, 20% of your activities are causing 80% of your wasted time. These are your ‘low-payoff’ activities.

To increase your productivity, always look for ways to free up more time to do your big-payoff tasks/activities by eliminating the many low-payoff ones that keep you from achieving your desired goals and dreams.

Your ‘Not-To-Do’ list can be more important than your ‘To-Do’ list! You must constantly be working to minimize or get rid of those 20% of activities that are wasting 80% of your time. You can do this by maintaining your ‘Not-To-Do’ list…

Here are some examples for your ‘Not-To-Do’ list:

  • Never answer email in the morning – Reserve this cherished morning time for your highest payoff activities.
  • Don’t answer phones just because they ring– take advantage of voice-mail, text messaging, and caller ID services. Answering a phone can distract you from doing your current high-payoff activity. It may just be a sales person looking to waste your time and ruin your focus.

Gary suggested asking yourself two questions for every task. Here they are: (1) Does this have to be done? (2) If so, does it have to be done by me? Don’t just be efficient, but be effective too. Do the right things and not just do them right!

So each day when you are creating your ‘To-Do’ list, think of creating your ‘Not-To-Do’ list as well.

Here are four great truths about time-management.

Are you a productive person or someone who is just busy? There is a difference between getting “something” done and getting one step closer to getting the “right thing” done. Is your to-do list full of simply chores or does it include tasks that lead you to reaching your goals

Beginning with the basics, these four fundamental truths will set you up for the life you want to live.

  1. This may surprise some of you, but time cannot be managed! You can only manage yourself in respect to time. Time can not be slowed down nor speed up – the sole change you can make is to your own actions.
  2. If you think you have less and less time to “stop and get organized”, the more you need to stop and get organized! The time you invest in planning and preparation will afford you TWICE as much time to get things done.
  3. Work expands to fit the time designated for it. So, the more time you allocate for a task, the longer it will take you to complete it.
  4. Here is something we have all said before, “I don’t have time to do that.” However, that is a misguided statement. Everyone has the same amount of hours in a day and days in a week. How you use your time is strictly your choice. Take pride in your decision-making power and know that you can proactively decide what to do each day. Instead of saying the above statement, you can say, “I don’t choose to use my time in that way.” This puts a positive spin on the statement as oppose to the first having a negative undertone.
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