Recently, I spoke to the Society of Administrative Professionals in Murfreesboro. Audience members asked me what tools I used to organize my home, and what they could do to facilitate throughput.
The spillover effect suggests that what we do in complementary spheres is connected; in other words, how we maintain our home is indicative of the way we perform our jobs, and vice versa. If perceptions are formed in a split second, then the totality of our presentation is important. This includes your persona, your office, and your personal space. What messages are you sending?
When I discuss appearances, I’m reminded of the Peanuts character Pig-Pen who putters in a cloud of debris. The mental picture people formulate will peg you as either a person of stature, or one who couldn’t care less.
Organizing for efficiency is a mindset that should permeate all aspects of your life. For example, I recently called two of my service providers to see if they could reduce monthly bills. One cut my payment in half, and the other reduced it by $30.00. In addition I canceled the gas ($20.00/month), that I only used in winter. All total, I reduced my monthly expenses by $90.00. What if you applied that same logic to your business? Office and purchasing managers (along with sole proprietors and entrepreneurs), can benefit from making a simple telephone call.
A little effort and proactivity on your part can save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. Similarly, business people accomplish more if routine actions are streamlined. What mail can you cancel, what bills and receipts can receive via e-mail? Automation accomplishes the following: (1) gets paper off your plate, eliminating sorting, filing, and later purging; (2) improves your credit rating because payments are always on time; (3) frees you for more productive pursuits.
Everything in my office either has utility, or is pleasing to the eye – there is no in-between. With the exception of updating the outmoded, the “shedding” process has worked to the point where there is nothing left to fix, donate, or discard, and there is therefore no “containerizing” to perform. I’m left with a space that I love, and that I now have time to enjoy. I recently watched an episode of HGTV in which a Los Gatos couple explained, “Where ever we go, it’s never as nice as here.” With time and effort you can transform your office into an oasis of tranquility.
After the presentation I realized that organizing (for me) had become a mindset. For everything you attempt, how can you focus your attention, improve the process, and enhance the end product? If you think of your mind as a maquiladora (a manufacturer of interim components), what thoughts should be deleted from your storehouse to make room for essentials? In each moment, are you moving forward, maintaining thoughts that will manifest in desired behavior?
I think the epitome of organizing is utilizing everything you have (and eliminating the nonessential) to become your Best Reflected Self. Your possessions reflect your persona, which is an amalgam of past choices. Organize yourself first, and the rest will follow suit.